Health Minister calls for areas with more than 500 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to be isolated

Salvador Illa on Friday.
Salvador Illa on Friday. / EFE
  • Five villages in Malaga province would face restrictions if the 500-case rule was applied to all municipalities in Spain

The Spanish government's Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has recommended that regional authorities lock down all municipalities with a 14-day cumulative incidence of Covid-19 of more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

This would apply, as well as to Madrid, to areas such as Fuenlabrada (Madrid), Lucena (Cordoba), Getafe (Madrid), Pamplona (Navarra) or Palencia (Castilla y León), among others.

His message, given at a press conference on Friday, was mainly directed at the president of the region of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who only announced new partial confinement measures for eight more districts of Madrid, as well as the 37 affected by restrictions on movement into other districts since last Monday.

District restrictions

The restrictions in place in the capital this week prohibited all non-essential travel outside the locked-down district, although residents have been allowed to go to work, school and attend to other commitments.

The minister also called for eating at drinking at the bar to be banned in establishments in Madrid and for terraces to be limited to 50 per cent of their capacity.

He called on the authorities to do more to raise awareness among the general public of the need to make only essential journeys.

Illa said that the regional authority in Spain's capital "must act with determination to take control of the pandemic in Madrid and short cuts won't work".

He also admitted, however, that the Health Ministry can only offer recommendations, and that regional authorities must "decide".

Local incidence rates

The 14-day cumulative case incidence figure per 100,000 inhabitants in Andalucía on Friday was 158 and in Malaga province 186.

If the 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants advice was followed for every municipality in the country, however small, five villages in Malaga province would be closed: Guaro, Jimera de Líbar, Sayalonga, Serrato and Sierra de Yeguas.

Other municipalities with higher incidence rates in Malaga province on Friday were Marbella with 374, Coín with 352, and Ronda 327, among others. The rate for Malaga city was 146.