Spain’s government has declared a state of emergency in Madrid so it can resume partial restrictions on movement that were struck down by a court.
The government announced the measure after an emergency cabinet meeting Friday to decide what to do about the Madrid region, which is witnessing one of Europe’s most concerning coronavirus clusters.
The region’s 14-day infection rate of 563 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents is more than twice Spain’s national average of 256 and five times the European average of 113 for the week ending September 27.
The national government had ordered police in Madrid to fine people if they leave their municipalities without justification. The measure covers 4.8 million residents in the capital and nine suburban towns.
But the Madrid regional government opposes the national government’s restrictions, saying they are draconian and hurt the economy.
Regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso says her more moderate measures are enough to fight the virus.
A Madrid court on Thursday upheld the regional administration’s legal challenge, saying the national government’s imposition of restrictions violated fundamental liberties.