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Madrid extends “curfew” to new areas but Spanish government says ENTIRE city “and others” should be locked down 

Spain’s health chief says all of Madrid should be CLOSED down to stop the spread of coronavirus and other badly-hit areas should do the same.

The Spanish government has consistently ruled
out imposing a second lockdown after the first was lifted on June 21st, with
decision-making devolved to the regional councils.

But with cases continuing to escalate in many
areas, Spain’s health department is clashing with the politicians in the
capital who today extended restrictions in the city but stopped short of a
blanket ban.

Residents of 45 districts of Madrid,
classified as “basic health areas”, are now being advised to stay at
home and limit their mobility.

Until this morning, the special measures
applied to 37 areas but the city council has added eight more.

Madrid’s deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero
said the move was aimed at “stopping the spread of coronavirus” in the region,
which has the highest incidence rate of Covid-19 in Spain, with 746.2 cases per
100,000 inhabitants.

The eight new areas are Panaderas
(Fuenlabrada); Miguel Servet and Doctor Tueta (Alcorcón); García Noblejas,
Vicálvaro-Artilleros, Orcasitas, Campo de la Paloma and Rafael Alberti (Madrid
city).

Residents will be told to restrict their
mobility as of Monday and only go out for essential reasons such as to shop, go
to work or look after an elderly relative in need. “Popping out for a
coffee” isn’t being recommended.

Madrid is stressing this isn’t a curfew but a
reaction to circumstances and is necessary for at least two weeks.

Capacity at stores and other commercial
establishments will be cut to 50 per cent and closing time at 10pm with the
exception of chemists, petrol stations and health centres. Bar service will be
prohibited.

“Our main concern is slowing the virus. We are
recommending that all non-essential travel be avoided,” said Mr. Zapatero.

But Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa,
holding a press conference at the same time, said the addition of eight new
areas in Madrid was not enough and the whole city should be shut down.

He indicated that the Spanish government had
given this specific advice to Madrid but the city had decided not to follow it.

He also suggested that any location where
there had been a cumulative incidence of 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in
the last 14 days should go on lockdown.

As it stands at present, this could affect
Fuenlabrada (Madrid), Lucena (Córdoba), Getafe (Madrid), Pamplona (Navarra) and
Palencia (Castilla y León).

Mr. Illa insited: “We must act with
determination to take control of the pandemic in Madrid and shortcuts are not
worth it.”  However, he stressed that the Ministry of Health ould
only offer recommendations and that the autonomous communities must then
“decide.”

“We have already managed to bend the
curve and we are going to achieve it, I have no doubt, if we do what we have to
do,” he said.