Over 1,000 arrests for flouting orders to stay at home as people try to avoid controls

Dog-walking in an empty Madrid street.
Dog-walking in an empty Madrid street. / EFE
  • By Thursday some 700 law-enforcement professionals had tested positive for Covid-19

The Interior ministry said on Wednesday that so far over 1,000 people had been arrested in Spain for flouting lockdown rules and over 123,000 people reported or fined by different police forces nationwide.

The first prison term nationally has also been handed out in Tenerife, when a court issued a four-month sentence.

"Lack of solidarity has to have a suitable response," said Interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, on Tuesday.

Across the country, stories of people breaking the lockdown rules have been emerging.

The Guardia Civil has reported a man in Galicia for hiring out his dogs to people wanting to go for a walk. The two pets, a Golden Retriever and a Chihuahua, appeared advertised on WhatsApp. His fine could be between 500 and 5,000 euros.

Meanwhile, several patients diagnosed with coronavirus from hospitals in Madrid and Alicante left without having been discharged. Head of the National Police, José Ángel González, criticised the "irresponsibility" and said officers were having to "do a lot of work to track them down".

On Wednesday, a Guardia Civil officer was seriously injured when he was run over while carrying out checks on vehicles on a motorway near Madrid.

The government said on Thursday that 700 law-enforcement professionals had tested positive for coronavirus.