Spain imposes state of emergency on Madrid

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As the bank holiday (Hispanicity Day to commemorate the discovery of America in 1492) is being prepared on Monday 12 October 2020, the regional authorities have nevertheless asked residents, on Thursday 8 October 2020, and despite the court ruling, to remain confined.

A Madrid court on Thursday struck down a government order imposing a partial lockdown on the city and nine satellite towns, ruling in favour of the Madrid region in a standoff with national authorities.

Some observers also believed that there was a political aspect to the tussle between the central and regional governments, with the a coalition of parties led by the centre-left PSOE and Madrid by another coalition led by the centrist PP.

"Protecting the health of Madrid's people is absolutely essential", insisted Mr Illa, saying 66 people had died over the past week and some 500 were "fighting for their lives in intensive care".

Reacting to the court decision, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that his government would put "all of the measures and instruments on the table".

The court refused to ratify the measures because they were imposed by the central government and not by the regional authorities who manage public healthcare.

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The ruling does not affect the regulations limiting bars and restaurants to working at 50 percent capacity and obliging them to not accept customers after 10 p.m., or limiting social gatherings to a maximum of six people.

"We hope to agree on a solution that benefits citizens and provides clarity", she said in a statement. "If the region can not do it, we will", Mr Calvo said.

While the Spanish cabinet sat to approve the state of emergency, Madrid's health chief announced restrictions on 51 health districts, despite the fact that this plan was about to be superseded.

But such measures were overridden by the partial lockdown order of Oct 2.

Infections in Madrid have reached almost 600 per 100,000 residents.

Madrid area has Europe's highest coronavirus rate with 850 coronavirus infections per 100,000 people.

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