Spain unlikely to be added back to safe list as Madrid is plunged into state of emergency

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The Spanish government has put a 15-day state of emergency on Madrid after coronavirus infections raced out of control. The capital will and its nearby cities will have restrictions in place which will be enforced by around 7,000 police. Last week, non-essential movement in and out of Madrid and the other nine nearby cities was banned.

The “state of alarm” will not be as severe as the lockdown that was put in place back in March.

Those leaving Madrid will only be able to do so if it is for an essential reason.

Work, school and commercial activities are exempt from the rule.

Social contact between different local areas is to be avoided.

Hotels and restaurants will be limited to a 50 percent capacity, being forced to close their doors at 11pm every night.

Businesses will also be limited to a 50 percent capacity and will have to close by 10pm.

Family and social gatherings will be limited to just six people.

The measure came into force at 2pm and will affect almost five million people in Madrid and neighbouring cities.

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Departmental Office is currently advising against non-essential travel to Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Spain and its surrounding islands are also not on the UK’s travel corridor list.

In line with the latest update from Spain, the FCDO updated its advice.

The advice stated that “entry for tourism purposes is not currently permitted and should be avoided.”

It added: “If you think you have reason to qualify as exempt and need to travel into or out of a confined area, you should carry evidence of your reason for travel such as a certificate from your employer, proof of medical appointment, or proof of onward journey such as train or flight tickets.

“To find out more about specific exemptions you should refer to guidance from local authorities.

“Many municipalities without entry and exit restrictions have introduced other types of measures such as controls on opening hours (usually a 10pm curfew), and have reduced capacity for bars and restaurants.

“In many parts of Spain, nightclubs remain closed.

“Social gathering limitations may vary between a maximum of five to 10 people depending on where you are in Spain.”

Travellers should be aware that face coverings need to be worn by anyone over the age of six years old on all forms of public transport in Spain and in many other indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Madrid has recorded just under 260,000 cases of coronavirus while the country as a whole has recorded almost 900,000 cases.

Countries included on the UK’s travel corridor list usually have less than 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Currently, Spain has recorded 148.5, putting it well above the UK’s preferred threshold.

However, the UK’s own infection rate has risen above Spain’s figure to 152.5 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

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