The Madrid regional deputy public health minister, Antonio Zapatero has announced further restrictions to combat the present surge in Covid cases.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the minister announced the overnight curfew will now begin at 10pm and all business premises must be closed by 9pm apart from essential ones such as pharmacies and petrol stations.
In addition get-togethers and meetings inside homes with members of other households are prohibited whilst the maximum group size allowed in bars and restaurants is reduced from 6 to 4 people.
Home deliveries from take-away establishments are permitted until 12 midnight.
The minister announced a further tranche of “basic health areas” facing perimetral lockdowns that will take the total to 56 in the capital in additon to 25 municipalities with restrictions.
The increase brings around 1. 6 million Madrid residents in local lockdown areas, the equivalent of a quarter of the region´s population.
The new measures will take effect from tomorow, 25th January and be in force for a period of 14 days.
The picture in the region is far more serious than at any time since the start of the pandemic nearly a year ago and is described as “critical”.
The health authourity figures show an additonal 6,130 cases of which 4,757 were recoreded in the last 24 hours.
9% of cases are now of the mutant variant that was first reported in the UK in December.
There are 4,107 patients hospitalised due to Covid-19, of whom 650 are in intensive care as of today, 24th January.
In a further development the regional health authorities have announced the opening of the 3rd of the 3 wings of the purpsoe built Hospital Isabel Zendal to deal with the third wave of coroanvirus infections sweeping the country.
The director general of the Madrid public health agency, Elena Andradas, said that nine basic health zones and six municipalities have a 14-day cumulative infection rate of above 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants and will be subject “to special mobility restrictions.”
The trigger for basic health lockdown is in areas where the infection rate exceeds 500 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The central government´s guidelines are 250 per 100,000 being “critical” and with the objective of reducing the cummulative rate to 25 or under.
The newly affected municipalities are Cercedilla, Navacerrada, Collado Villalba, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Los Molinos, Quijorna, Serranillos del Valle and Colmenar de Oreja. The new affected health zones are Las Ciudades, in Getafe; as well as La Rivota, Ramón y Cajal, Doctor Trueta and Pedro Laín Entralgo, in Alcorcón.
To date Spain has registered 2,603,472 cases of the coronavirus and 55,441 fatalities.