Madrid calls on Spanish government for “ceasefire” in dispute over tougher Covid restrictions

Covid restrictions dispute ceasefire
MESSAGE: “Madrid residents deserve for us to agree jointly measures to protect their health”, the regional Vice-President tweeted on Sunday. CREDIT: Ignacio Aguado Twitter @ignacioaguado

MADRID has called on the Spanish government for a “ceasefire” in the dispute over tougher Covid restrictions.

In a Tweet posted on Sunday morning, Madrid regional Vice-President Ignacio Aguado said he had spoken to the Health Minister Salvador Illa and to Political Territory Minster Carolina Darias about “the need to continue with the meetings between the autonomous community and national government.

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“A political ceasefire is urgently needed”, he said, adding, “Madrid residents deserve for us to agree jointly measures to protect their health.

“We are up to doing this.”

Madrid is once again the epicentre of Spain’s second wave of the pandemic, and on Friday the regional government announced it was extending new restrictions to bring the spread of the virus under control to a further eight health zones in the national capital, bringing the total up to 45.

But it has been resisting calls by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s administration to implement tighter restrictions for the entire city.

On Saturday Illa repeated the message to the Madrid authority that in his view the current restrictions in place are not sufficient.

“There is a serious risk for inhabitants, for the neighbouring regions,” Mr Illa argued, and urged the Madrid administration to “put the health of citizens first” and impose a partial lockdown on the entire city.

Also taking to Twitter on Sunday, Illa confirmed the “communications” with Madrid had taken place.

“We have called on them to revise the announced measures and to follow the scientists’ and the health authorities’ recommendations”, the Health Minister said.

Carolina Darias has tweeted on the issue today too.

She said they had told Aguado to be “on the side of science and the health experts.

“The Spanish government is always ready to help. The battle against Covid is epidemiological not ideological”, she insisted.

The tensions between the central and autonomous community executives have reportedly led the Spanish government to plan to take back control in Madrid on managing the pandemic if there is no agreement on measures to be taken.

Article 65 of the Royal Decree on the New Normality, which was approved in June, allows the Health Ministry to take the necessary steps “in situations of particular risk or alarm for public health.”

It has also been reported that Madrid regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso is prepared to close down all areas and towns where there is a rate of more than 500 infections per 1,000 inhabitants if the same measure is applied throughout Spain and PCR tests are carried out at Madrid’s Barajas airport, the AVE high-speed railway station and other stations.

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