The Spanish government has declared a state of emergency in the capital, Madrid. The regulation will enter into force immediately and will last for 15 days.
The dramatic movement is the result of a court decision overturning an administrative decision to partially ban curfew. According to the law, the matter falls within the decision-making power of the local government and the local authorities opposed the decision of the central government.
The declaration of emergency gives the central government the right to walk beyond the wishes of the local government.
– Protecting the health of Madridians is absolutely crucial. Patience has its limits, Minister of Health Salvador Illa commented.
He referred to the Prime Minister Pedro Sancheziinwho had called for a local leader Isabel Diaz Ayusoa to enforce a city-wide ordinance.
– We have only one goal, to protect Madrid. If the region is unable to do that, we will do it, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said during a government emergency meeting after requests to Diaz Ayusa echoed in “deaf ears”.
The restrictions were originally put in place a week ago. The decision prohibits any unnecessary movement in or out of the city. Exceptions are work, schooling and access to health services. In addition, the restaurants will have to close their doors at 11 pm and the number of customer seats will be halved.
The government wanted the restrictions to take effect quickly as Spain celebrates National Day on Monday and people were feared to flow out of the city over the long weekend.
The coronavirus situation in Madrid is the most serious in Spain. The rate of infection is 564 per 100,000 inhabitants per day, compared with 307 in Spain as a whole. The figure is one of the highest in Europe. According to the two-week average figures of the EU’s Infectious Diseases Agency (ECDC), the situation in Europe is worse only in the Czech Republic (398 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). It is followed by the Netherlands (304), France (260) and the United Kingdom (260). The Finnish reading is 35.
Despite this, the director of health in Madrid Enrique Ruiz Escudero placeholder image lamented that the decision is difficult to understand because the regional restrictions imposed a few weeks ago are working. Madrid had previously restricted the movement of residents of some of the poorer suburbs, mainly in the south. At the time, the anger of the townspeople was directed at Diaz Ayuso, which could affect the agility of local politicians.
According to news agency AFP, some of the country’s scientific and medical organizations, representing 170,000 experts, issued an open letter urging politicians to stop arguing with each other and focus on curbing the spread of the disease.
– You must accept, finally and finally, that key decisions to defeat this pandemic must be based on the best available scientific evidence, completely separate from the ongoing political confrontation, the unions insist.