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Madrid lifts coronavirus restrictions in 10 healthcare zones

Regional authorities in Madrid have lifted perimeter confinements around 10 of the 41 zones where restrictions had been in place since last month after infection rates dropped.

Madrid lifts coronavirus restrictions in 10 healthcare zones
Photo: AFP

Residents of 10 healthcare zones can from Monday once again move freely in and out of their Basic Healthcare zone after the cumulative incidence rate dropped below 500 cases per 100,000 people within the last 14 day period.

Those newly freed zones are:

  • Guadarrama, Peña Prieta and Rafael Alberti (Puente de Vallecas)
  • San Andrés, San Cristobal and El Espinillo (Villaverde)
  • San Blas (Parla)
  • Villajero (Moratalaz)
  • Brújula and Las Fronteras (Torrejón de Ardoz)

But restrictions will remain in place in 31 other zones of the Community of Madrid until at least November 22nd. These are:

  • Pavones and Vandel (Moratalaz)
  • Puerta del Ángel (Usera)
  • Virgen de Begoña (Fuencarral-El Pardo)
  • Infanta Mercedes and Villaamil (Tetuán)
  • Núñez Morgado (Chamartín)
  • Guzmán el Bueno (Chamberí)
  • Entrevías, Pozo del Tío Raimundo, Alcalá de Guadaíra and Numancia (Puente de Vallecas)
  • Daroca (Ciudad Lineal)
  • Doctor Tamames and Barrio del Puerto (Coslada)
  • Colmenar Viejo Norte (Colmenar Viejo)
  • San Juan de la Cruz (Pozuelo de Alarcón)
  • Pintores (Parla)
  • Morata de Tajuña (Morata de Tajuña)

The restricted zones also include entire municipalities:

  • Majadahonda
  • Moralzarzal
  • Galapagar
  • Villaconejos
  • Pelayos
  • San Martín de Valdeiglesias
  • Collado Villalba
  • Chinchón
  • Alpedrete
  • El Boalo-Cerceda-Mataelpino
  • Villarejo de Salvanés
  • Colmenar de Oreja

Madrid's regional government have produced an interactive map that allows you to find the exact areas with restrictions. 

Click on Map below to discover which zones across Madrid have restrictions still in place: 

What are the restrictions? 

If you live within one of the restricted “basic health zones”  then you are only be allowed to leave the zone to go to work, seek medical care or take their children to school or because of a “force majuere”.

All bars and restaurants will have to reduce their capacity by 50 percent, children's 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.

As well as the measures in place in these restricted heathcare zones, Madrid has a curfew in place from midnight to 6am and meetings are limited to groups of 6.

How long will they last? 

The restrictions are currently set to expire on November 22nd but if there are not significant improvements in infections rates then authorities may keep some zones under restrictions for longer. 

How will the new restrictions be policed?

Local police officers, supported by the National Police and the Civil Guard, will be in place to ensure that residents of the affected areas respect the rules.

Anyone caught in breach of the new restrictions could face a fine of between €60 and €600 for a minor infraction and up to €600,000 for a serious one.

Rules

Basically, you must stay within your restricted zone unless you have to travel outside it for work, study, or take your children to school. You can also leave if you have to visit dependents or if you need to seek medical attention or attend a legal or administrative appointment.

Shops and restaurants will remain open but at half the capacity that they are normally allowed and they must shut by midnight allowing last people in by 11pm..

All social groups must not exceed six people and that is across the whole of the region of Madrid,  not just the restricted areas.

Plus the within restricted zones parks and public spaces such as childrens playgrounds are closed.

Cinemas, theatres, libraries and sports centres will remain open but with a limited capacity.

Home delivery is allowed.

Permits

People who need to exit or enter a restricted zone must carry a form which they can download from the internet and fill out in order to justify their trip. These must be carried at all times and shown if required when stopped by police at the checkpoints.

They will have to fill out with ID number, address, place of work and reason for movement and must be signed by one's employer. 

They can be downloaded HERE. or by clicking through on tweet below.

READ ALSO: 

 

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COVID-19

Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

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