A local police stops a vehicle at a checkpoint in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Police in the Spanish capital and its surrounding towns are stopping people coming in and out of working-class neighborhoods that have been partially locked down to stem Europe's fastest coronavirus spread.(AP Photo).
Police in the Spanish capital and its surrounding towns are stopping people coming in and out of some working-class neighborhoods that have been partially locked down to stem Europe's fastest coronavirus spread.
The police controls began Monday and for the first two days they will give people information. Enforcement will be mandatory starting from Wednesday and those not justifying their trips for work, study or medical reasons will face fines, regional authorities said.
Some 860,000 residents are affected by the new heightened restrictions. Parks are closed and shops and restaurants have to limit their occupancy to 50% in the affected zones.
The targeted areas have a 14-day rate of transmission above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, some of the highest in Europe.
The measure has been met with protests from people who think that authorities are stigmatizing the poor.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is meeting Monday with the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, to coordinate a stronger response to the outbreaks.
Spain is struggling to contain a second wave of the virus, which has killed at least 30,000 people according to the country's health ministry.