Random police checks in Madrid after the start of partial lockdown

Spanish police set up temporary checkpoints, as residents of Madrid and nine nearby towns began a partial lockdown, news wires reported. Hours after the city limits were closed off to all non-essential traffic, masked police could be seen setting up temporary checkpoints and stopping cars for about 20 minutes before moving on, an AFP correspondent said.

For the next 14 days, residents of the capital and nine nearby towns, will not be able to leave the city limits except for work, school or medical reasons. But they are not confined to their homes and can circulate freely.

Some 4.5m people are affected by the closure, which came into force at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Friday as the region battles a soaring infection rate of 730 cases per 100,000 people, compared with just 300 per 100,000 in the rest of Spain, in itself the highest rate in the EU.

Spain’s Socialist PM Pedro Sanchez said the steps were “critical” to stopping virus outbreaks and preventing a repeat of the horrific scenes of March and April, when hospitals were overrun with dying patients.

The Madrid government led by Isabel Diaz Ayuso of the conservative Popular Party said it would enforce the Spanish government's orders but it also has challenged them in the National Court. Ayuso and her regional ministers have said the restrictions will cause “chaos,” hurt an already weakened economy and violate their jurisdiction as regional authorities.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • Ireland ends mandatory quarantine for travelers

    Ireland ends mandatory quarantine for travelers

    The mandatory hotel quarantine imposed in the Republic of Ireland for those travelling from designated high-risk countries has ended. The country's health minister made an official announcement saying it was to end "immediately", BBC reported. All countries have now been removed from the list of designated states.

    60
  • Germans vote for parliament in tight political race

    Germans vote for parliament in tight political race

    SPD mounts the pressure on retiring Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU

    Germany votes on Sunday in country’s parliamentary elections with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) emerging as leader by narrow margin to the centre-right bloc of retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has been leading Germany for the last 16 years. Therefore the vote is seen as a corner stone to set the future course of Europe's largest economy, Reuters reported.

    56
  • Hundreds dismiss the Dutch “corona pass”

    Hundreds dismiss the Dutch “corona pass”

    Hundreds protesters marched on Saturday in the streets of major cities in the Netherlands in a protest against the introduced "corona pass" which is equivalent to proof of Covid-19 vaccination and became compulsory to get into bars, restaurants, theatres and other public venues, Reuters reported. Only few hours after the new requirements took effect, the government of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired a deputy minister who had publicly questioned the measures.

    65