Madrid shields itself from the outbreak of the coronavirus and the political fight reaches the courts

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The capital of Spain applies from this Friday new entry and exit restrictions, by order of the Spanish government. But the local authorities reject the measure and will go to court.

The city of Madrid, the hardest hit in Spain by a second wave of coronavirus, entered a partial lockdown this Friday, complying with an order from the national government to contain the virus. But the local authorities reject the restrictions and promise to fight in court.

The measures banning all essential travel to and from the capital and nine of its suburbs – covering an estimated 4.8 million people – take effect at 10 p.m. local time.

The president of the Spanish government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, argued that it was a “critical” need to take the new steps in the greatest focus of infections in Europe, but the Madrid authorities, whose regional government is controlled by the right-wing Popular Party, rejected the order, saying it would create chaos and further damage the economy.

That is why they presented an appeal to the National Court against the new measures.

Under the new order, travelers will need to show that they are going to or coming from work, the doctor, or carry out administrative or legal procedures in order to leave Madrid or the suburb where they live.

Restaurants must close at 11 pm and shops at 10, with restrictions of allowing only 50% of their capacity.

Similar measures are already applied to more than one million residents and the region has limited social gatherings to a maximum of six people.

In its appeal, the city of Madrid argues that the restrictions violate the autonomy rules of the region.

Madrid is leading the resurgence of the virus in Spain, which has the highest total of cases in Europe: 770,000 since the start of the pandemic.

The central government and 12 of the 17 Spanish regions agreed last Wednesday tighten mobility limitations in all municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants with at least 500 cases new coronavirus per 100,000 people, more than 10% positive in PCR tests and a rate of covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ucis) greater than 35% of their total bed capacity.

These circumstances occur, for now, in the capital and nine other large municipalities in the Madrid region, which add up to 78 million inhabitants.

Spain added 11,325 new coronavirus infections this Friday, 3,722 notified in the last 24 hours, according to data published by the Ministry of Health, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 789,932, and deaths to 32,086, with 113 more deaths.

Madrid continues to be the Spanish autonomous community with the highest number of new infections, with 2,536 compared to the total figure notified on Thursday. However, it has gone from accumulating 34% of the new positives recorded in Spain on Thursday to 22% this Friday, according to data from the Ministry.

The authorities of the capital consider that the agreement to impose new restrictions lacks the “legally necessary” consensus and, therefore, legal validity, since there were five regions that rejected those norms, including Madrid.

The regional government of Madrid, made up of conservatives and liberals, argues that it is the competent health administration in this case and that restricting mobility will mean a serious damage to the economy, already badly damaged by the effects of the pandemic.

He also believes that these limitations are more typical of the state of alarm, a constitutional figure that the Council of Ministers must declare and that was already in force between mid-March and last June throughout Spain, during the hardest part of the epidemic, with extensions. successive endorsed by Parliament.

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