13 Mar, 2020 @ 19:25
1 min read

COVID-19: Madrid residents flee to Spain’s Costa del Sol, Valencia and Murcia despite government advice to remain at home over coronavirus fears – including ex PM Jose Aznar

Thousands of people are thought to have left Madrid when the lockdown was announced
Aznar’s home in Guadalmina Baja

MADRID residents are fleeing to Spain’s costas in a bid to escape the effective lockdown in the central region. 

And according to ABC news, among them is the ex-prime minister Jose Aznar, who has reportedly been spotted arriving to his home in Guadalmina Baja, Marbella.

He arrived to his luxury villa in the exclusive San Pedro neighbourhood with his wife and former Madrid mayor Ana Botello yesterday afternoon.

The couple, who have brought their security team, are expected to stay until Easter.

Former Spanish PM Jose Aznar has retreated to his luxury Marbella villa

They are not alone in fleeing Madrid, which announced today the closure of all bars, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms after declaring more than 2,000 coronavirus cases.

The motorways leaving Madrid this afternoon have seen four kilometres of traffic jams on the A-4, heading towards Andalucia.

The M-40 headed towards Valencia and the Costa Blanca also saw tailbacks of at least two kilometres, according to the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT).

Many so-called Madrilenos have homes on the costas which they usually retreat to when the summer heat becomes unbearable.

Atascos Portada Semana Santa
Traffic came to a standstill out of Madrid today

In Murcia, towns have now been cut off to specifically bar people from Madrid entering.

Freedom of movement is limited in the municipalities of San Pedro, San Javier, Los Alcazares, Cartagena, La Union, Mazarron and Aguila.

The population will only be able to leave their houses for ‘work, welfare and food supply and pharmacy visits’, regional president Fernando Lopez Miras announced today.

The order will remain in place for 14 days and affects the almost 350,000 people who live across the seven municipalities, reported Efe.

Miras said: “We are seeing behaviour that endangers us all. There are a long series of people who have quarantined as a vacation on the Murcian coast.

“This is regrettable and irresponsible.”

According to local paper La Verdad, an 88-year-old man from Madrid has been admitted in serious condition at the Los Arcos del Mar Menor hospital with coronavirus.

The individual allegedly travelled by train to Murcia despite being diagnosed with the infection.

He went to the supermarket and later had to be admitted to the hospital as an emergency.

An investigation has now been launched to retrace his steps.

Miras commented: “We have seen that a person with the disease travelled by train and arrived to the coast, and must be admitted to the Los Arcos hospital, where he remains in the ICU and his state of health is very worrying at the moment and this is unacceptable.”

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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