THE central government has ordered for the closure of much of Madrid despite its plan being voted down at the Inter-territorial meeting yesterday.

The decree, published in the official state bulletin (BOE) this morning, calls for the closure of any municipality of 100,000 inhabitants or more which meets the three criteria set out by health minister Salvador Illa.

These are; an incidence rate of 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants or higher, 10% of PCR tests coming back positive and ICUs being 35% occupied by COVID-19 patients.

It means Madrid must close down nine of its cities by 00:00 on Saturday, affecting five million people.

“Madrid is not rebelling… of course we will abide by the law and we will do so to the letter,” said regional leader Isabel Ayuso, who has already confirmed she is studying launching an appeal.

“We will rely on the rule of law to claim what is fair for Madrid.”

The central government’s plan was voted down by several regional heads at the Interterritorial Health Council meeting yesterday.

Andalucia joined the likes of Galicia and Murcia in labelling it ‘arbitrary’, insisting that the three criteria used to judge municipalities were not encompassing enough.

The southernmost region said population size and the nature of clusters and other measures should be relevant in deciding whether or not to close down a city or municipality.

Despite not being approved by all the regions, the national government has gone ahead with plan, giving the affected cities 48 hours to essentially lockdown.

In addition to Madrid capital, the BOE order also affects the Madrid cities of Alcala de Henares, Alcobendas, Alcorcon, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, Leganes, Mostoles, Parla and Torrejon de Ardoz.

They must all adopt lockdown measures from 00:00 on Saturday, affecting five out of the 6.6 million inhabitants of the Madrid community.

“This agreement will be mandatory for all autonomous communities and cities that are members of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System,” says the BOE, including those that have rejected the measures, such as Andalucia, Catalunya, Galicia, Murcia and Ceuta.

Madrid has since labelled the order as ‘legally invalid’ as there was no consensus at the meeting of regional leaders and has vowed to launch an appeal.

However the State Attorney General cited article 151 of the Law 40/2015 which says ‘if the state exercises coordination powers, agreements will bind all the Autonomous Communities, even if they voted against it.’

“The order has been a dagger in the back,” Ayuso told Madrid’s parliament, “I am not going to let the economy of Madrid fall due to an order based on a false consensus.

“Madrid has a very clear plan to locate those who are infectious and put them in quarantine so that others can continue as normal.”

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