Madrid will be the first European capital to return to prison following new restrictions on the coronavirus by the Spanish government.

According to the World Health Organization, some 4.8 million people in the Spanish capital will be barred from leaving the area after the city suffers from one of the highest infection rates in any region of Europe, with 850 cases per 100,000.

According to the new rules, which begin at 10 p.m. this Friday, city borders will be closed for smaller visits. Closed parks and playgrounds, six-person gatherings, and bars and restaurants will close at 11:00 p.m.

The measures ordered by Spain’s Health Ministry came after Spain recorded a total of 789,932 coronavirus cases on Friday – an increase of 11,325 since Thursday. There were 32,086 deaths.

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Madrid’s bars and restaurants, known for their nightly touring and a usually busy flow of tourists, have to close at 23:00 instead of the previous curfew, while restaurants, gyms and shops are to operate at half capacity.

Meetings of more than six people remain banned both indoors and outdoors, but parks and playgrounds may remain open this time.

In recent days, other busy European cities have tightened measures, including limiting the number of people at restaurants and putting on masks in more places, but none have made it to a lockdown yet. Madrid’s new measures will last for at least 14 days and can be extended if necessary.

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According to the World Health Organization, the district of Madrid has the worst percentage in Europe, with 850 cases per 100,000 population.

Daily deaths have been at their highest since early May, but well below their record since late March of nearly 900 deaths.

Last month, Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government had recommended tougher measures, including a partial lockdown, across Madrid and its people.


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