CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

The Madrid cities under the state of alarm: What you can and can’t do

The central government has used a decree to lock down the capital and eight other municipalities. Residents of these areas who break the rules could be fined

Passengers wait in line for a train at Madrid's Atocha station on Friday afternoon.
Passengers wait in line for a train at Madrid's Atocha station on Friday afternoon.Samuel Sanchez / EL PAÍS

The Spanish Cabinet on Friday declared a state of alarm in the Madrid region, in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus and after failing to reach an agreement with the regional government on the measures that should be implemented. The details of the state of alarm were passed via a decree and published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) at 5pm, coming into force from that moment.

The government opted to use a state of alarm to give the new coronavirus restrictions that were agreed on last week by a majority of the country’s regions a new legal framework, after the perimetral confinement of municipalities with a high incidence of the coronavirus was struck down by the Madrid High Court on Thursday.

The restrictions included in the BOE reintroduce the perimetral confinement of the capital and eight other municipalities in the region, and anyone trying to leave these areas for the long weekend – Monday is a national holiday – will face fines. Here are the measures now in place in the cities in question:

  • No one can leave or enter the following municipalities, apart from if their journey is justified: Alcobendas, Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, Leganés, Móstoles, Parla and Torrejón de Ardoz. The city of Alcalá de Henares was included in the lockdowns last Friday, but has been taken off the list after its coronavirus data improved, Health Minister Salvador Illa explained on Friday. Justified reasons include work, visits to the doctor or other reasons of force majeure.
  • Within the affected municipalities, citizens are able to move freely, but the government has advised against all unnecessary journeys and activities.
  • The state of alarm will be in place for 15 days, and will have to be approved by the Congress of Deputies if it is to be extended.
  • A maximum of six people are allowed to meet in public or private throughout the whole region, except for activities where specific limits have been established.
  • Stores and establishments such as gyms and hairdressers must limit capacity to 50%, and must close by 10pm.
  • Bars, restaurants and betting houses will be limited to 50% capacity inside and 60% outside, with consumption at bar counters prohibited. They will have to close at 11pm apart from for food deliveries.
  • The capacity in sports venues, both outside and inside, is reduced to 50%, with a maximum of six people for group sports with the exception of official competitions.
  • Academies and private training or teaching centers will see their capacity reduced to 50%.
  • In places of worship, capacity is reduced to a third, with a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. At funeral wakes, there is a limit of 15 people outside, and 10 inside.

English version by Simon Hunter.

More information