Madrid tightens coronavirus restrictions as surge in cases reported

4 September 2020, 14:13

Almost a third of Spain's new infections have been traced back to the capital
Almost a third of Spain's new infections have been traced back to the capital. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Madrid has further tightened its restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus after a surge of new infections were linked back to the city.

A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people outdoors is already in existence in the Spanish capital - but authorities say this will now be extended to indoor settings, too.

There will also be restrictions placed on attendance at funerals, burials, weddings, religious celebrations, groups visiting museums and guided tourism from Monday.

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Officials have assured that the situation in Madrid is currently "stable" and "controlled" as it comes just as schools are about to reopen.

"The situation has nothing to do with what we went through two months ago," regional health chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero said, adding: "We are not alarmed."

The Madrid region is home to around 6.6 million people and has a high population density, serving as an economic hub for the rest of Spain.

It has been found recently to also be the location of almost a third of all new COVID-19 infections in Spain, while at least 16% of its hospital beds are occupied by patients of the virus - the highest rate out of all the regions.

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In the meantime, Madrid has purchased two million rapid coronavirus test kits and has expanded its number of contact tracers in order to bring the latest surge under control.

Spain is closing in in nearly 500,000 cases of COVID-19, with a rate of 212 cases per 100,000 people in the last fortnight.

This makes it one of the hardest-hit countries in the world, and has recorded nearly 30,000 deaths.