The central government’s flagship order to curb the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus has been dealt a major blow today with the decision of the Madrid High Court that measures introduced were “harmful to citizens’ basic rights”.
The PP led regional government had taken the Health Ministry to the court in order to rescind the restriction measures that applied to the capital as well as other 9 municipalities in the region affecting over 5 million inhabitants.
The court’s ruling now leaves a question mark over both the central and regional government’s approach to combating the virus spread.
The Madrid government had previously applied local lockdown measures in 45 of the region’s 286 “basic health areas” where contagion rates had exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants.
However the central government’s insisted on applying lockdown measures in districts where infection rates exceeded 500 per 100,000 inhabitants.
However the regional premier, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, had said that implementing such levels of lockdown would be a “disaster” for the economy and estitmated that the measures introduced had already cost the Madrid economy over 6 billion Euros.
Despite the regional government’s court victory the Mayor of Madrid,José Luis Martínez-Almeida, urged Madrileños to act responsibly, encouraging them not to go out unless it was essential to do so.
Inmaculada Sanz, the regional government´s spokesperson said that the police had performed 1,108 checks points involving 20.650 people and 17,961 vehícules from Friday until Wednesday and had issued 15, 327 fines for non compliance with mask wearing and a further 1,159 for being in groups of more than six people.
With the court ruling all police check points have been suspended.
The ruling from the Madrid High Court comes despite support for the new measures on the part of the public prosecutor, whose report stated that they were in line with “criteria of proportionality” given the high risk of coronavirus infections in Madrid and on the basis that “the right to life and to health” should take precedence over any other consideration.
To date Spain has recorded 872,276 coronavirus cases of whom 32,562 have died.