On Friday, October 9th, Pedro Sanchez imposed a State of Emergency for 15 days to contain the number of COVID-19 cases that were rising rapidly in the Comunidad de Madrid area. It will be implemented with the help of 7,000 police personnel. The Spanish government targeted areas with rates higher than 500 cases per 100,000 residents.
The new restrictions were placed on the Comunidad de Madrid earlier this month after the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, published confinement regulations in the Official State Gazette, the BOE, and stated that those changes will go into effect within 48 hours. The restrictions included:
- Reducing the number to a maximum of 6 people in a group.
- Restricting entry and exit of people to and from Madrid, with the exceptions of people who need to move due to work or studies.
- Permitting restaurants to allow entry to people until 10:00 pm, and closing by 11:00 pm, with the exception of deliveries.
These restrictions affect 10 municipalities in the Comunidad de Madrid: Getafe, Fuenlabrada, Torrejón de Ardoz, Leganés, Madrid, Parla, Móstoles, Alcorcón, Alcalá de Henares, and Alcobendas. These measures are expected to last at least 14 days, with reviews happening weekly.
This state of emergency comes after a week of political row between the Spanish Government and the Government of Madrid, who challenged these new restrictions in court last week and won. The Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid (TJSM) argued that the order set by the Health Ministry affected the “freedom and fundamental rights of the citizens”, and overthrew this order since it had not been ratified in the Parliament either.
Friday morning, El Consejo de Ministros met and debated whether or not Madrid should enter this State of Emergency. This fight between the government, Pedro Sanchez, and Isabel Diaz Ayuso left the Madrid community very confused as to what the new regulations are. Sanchez made the argument that Madrid “must protect public health now” and used his executive power to set these new restrictions. These will be in place for the next 15 days.
Spain is not the only country that faces rising cases in the second wave. France also set a curfew in Paris along with 8 other cities, telling citizens to stay at home from 21:00 to 6:00. Angela Merkel has also warned citizens that if the current trajectory continues, the public will face higher restrictions in the next 10 days. Other countries such as Ukraine, Poland, and the Netherlands have also reported a high rise in the number of cases these past few weeks.