Curfew: Madrid region bans late night gatherings

Curfew:  Madrid region bans late night gatherings
Photo: AFP
The Madrid region's government said Friday it would ban households from gathering indoors from midnight until 6 am as part of new restrictions to fight a rise in coronavirus infections.

The measures will limit capacity inside restaurants and bars to 50 percent and they will have to close at midnight, said the Madrid region's top health official, Enrique Ruiz Escudero.

“The news measures drastically reduce social activity, especially at hight,” he told a news conference.

Cinemas and gyms will be required to reduce their capacity to 50 percent and university residences must close at midnight.   

Gatherings between 6 am and midnight will remain limited to groups of six people.

The measures will come into effect on Saturday when a two-week partial lockdown imposed on Madrid, which is also the Spanish capital, and several surrounding cities by the central government ends.

Instead the Madrid government will place 32 basic healthcare zones under a perimetral lockdown from Monday, meaning residents in these areas will not be able to leave or enter unless it is to go to work, seek medical care or take their children to school or because of a “force majuere”.

All bars and restaurants within these areas will have to close by 10pm and childrens playgrounds will be closed. 

Residents of the areas affected will be allowed to move around freely inside their zone but no one from outside will be allowed in.

Within the city of Madrid itself, they will apply to the following areas: Núñez Morgado (Chamartín district); Guzmán el Bueno (Chamberí), San Andrés, San Cristóbal and El Espinillo (Villaverde); Entrevías, Peñaprieta, Alcalá de Guadaira, Rafael Alberti, Numancia and Pozo del Tío Raimundo (Puente de Vallecas); Daroca (Ciudad Lineal); Vinateros-Torito, Pavones and Vandel (Moratalaz); Puerta del Ángel (Latina); Virgen de Begoña (Fuencarral); and Infanta Mercedes and Villaamil (Tetuán).

The perimetral lockdowns will also be applied to healthcare zones in municpalities outside of Madrid city.

These are Collado Villalba (in the municipality of Collado Villalba); Guadarrama (Guadarrama); Majadahonda (Majadahonda); San Juan de la Cruz (Pozuelo de Alarcón); San Blas and Pintores (Palma); Colmenar Viejo norte (Colmenar Viejo); Morata de Tajuña (Morata de Tajuña); Las Fronteras and Brújulas (Torrejón de Ardoz); El Boalo (Manzanares el Real); Villarejo de Salvanes (Villarejo de Salvanes) and Colmenar de Oreja (Colmenar de Oreja).

The regional government of Madrid announced the new measures a day after a meeting between the central government and regional health authorities failed to reach a consensus on the need for nighttime curfews.

Two other regions, Castilla and Leon and Valencia, said they would move to impose a nighttime curfew – known in Spain as 'toque de queda' – on their own, while the southern region of Andalucia said it would do so in the city of Granada.

Spain earlier this week became the first European Union nation to record a million coronavirus infections.


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