The measures affect Madrid and nine other cities in the region. The capacity of places of worship is reduced to just one third, while leisure, restaurants or gambling venues will only be reduced to half.
The coronavirus continues to hit the world's population. This week, coronavirus deaths passed one million worldwide, and figures keep growing in many countries.
Spain is the European country that is suffering the most from the second wave of the pandemic. That is why the Spanish government announced new restrictions, that will apply to any municipality with more than 500 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days.
At this moment, that only affects Madrid and nine nearby municipalities, which have “an average of 892 cases per 100,000 in the 14 days assessed, more than three times the national incidence [...] 33% of the total cases reported throughout Spain in that period”, Health Minister, Salvador Illa, warned.
“It is urgent to implement the necessary measures to control transmission and protect the affected populations as much as possible, to preserve health care capacity and minimize the risk of contagion, trying to reduce transmission rates below the risk levels established by international bodies”, the Official State Gazette states.
Gatherings will be limited to six people and stores, bars and restaurants will have to reduce capacity by 50% and close by 10 p.m, Furthermore, people living in those areas will not be able to leave or enter their area except for work, education or health reasons.
Attending worship services is not included among the exceptions allowed, which would therefore be prohibited.
The capacity of places of worship is reduced to “a maximum of one third, guaranteeing in any case the minimum interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters”.
This restriction is greater than that of commercial premises, hotels, restaurants, gambling venues, non-regulated education centres or sports facilities. All of these have a capacity reduction of 50%.
The wakes can have “a maximum capacity of fifteen people outdoors or ten indoors, whether or not they are living together". Furthermore, "the procession for the burial or the cremation of the deceased will be restricted to a maximum of fifteen people”.
In a note published on its website, the Evangelical Council of Madrid responds to some of the citizens' doubts about these new measures.
It explains that “people can attend church services while maintaining the measures of capacity and security, but those who live in municipalities not affected by the restriction measures cannot attend churches in the areas that have such measures”, and vice versa.
Volunteers who go to churches to work with people in need, as well as pastors, will be able to go to restricted areas, as long as they present an entry/exit permit for work purposes.