MADRID | SPAIN – Madrid and nine satellite towns will come under new lockdown restrictions by decree within hours, a regional government source said on Friday, as the Spanish capital faces the worst COVID-19 infection rate from Europe’s second wave.
The conservative-led Madrid area authority is reluctantly complying with an order from the Socialist-led central government to ban travel except for school, works, health or shopping in an area of 4.8 million people.
Famous for its late-night carousing and usually bustling tourist flow, Madrid is also seeing a curfew for bars and restaurants moved to 11 p.m. from 1 a.m.
The measure is a huge blow to residents of the Spanish capital after already enduring one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns earlier in the year, though this time people with not be prohibited from leaving their homes.
Still, many ‘Madrilenos’ were exasperated at political bickering over the measures and were scrambling to work out just how the new restrictions would affect them.
Various others of Europe’s busiest cities have also tightened measures in past days, including limiting numbers in restaurants and making face masks compulsory in more place, to counter the resurgence of coronavirus cases.
Madrid’s new measures will come into effect as soon as the decree is published in the region’s official journal, due before 11 p.m. on Friday, the regional government source told Reuters.