Madrid seals borders, South Tyrol mass testing, Germany sets new daily record

Madrid Desk, Nov 20 (efe-epa).- The Community of Madrid will close its borders with other Spanish regions next month for 10 days to curb infection rates over a long holiday weekend, while health authorities in the Italian autonomous alpine region of South Tyrol announced a three-day campaign to test 70 percent of its population.

Germany broke its own record for daily coronavirus infections on Friday, a day after health officials said they were optimistic that contagion rates could be brought to manageable levels next week, while authorities in France on Friday said that the country had overcome the second wave’s peak but warned against lifting restrictions too soon.


The Community of Madrid will seal itself off for ten days from Friday 4 to Monday 14 December, a period which includes a long bank holiday weekend, to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The measure is being imposed in the hopes of making it to the Christmas period with the lowest possible infection raes, regional government’s deputy public health minister, Antonio Zapatero, said Friday.

In addition to saving the Christmas holiday season, the authorities hope the restrictions will continue flattening the infection curve. In the last fourteen days, the Madrid region has reported an accumulated incidence of 297 per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the latest official data from the Community of Madrid, there are currently 2,266 patients admitted: 1,881 on the ward (43.4 percent less than at the peak) and 385 in the ICU (23.7% less), “already very significant” drops and a 65.21 percent drop in the number of positive cases compared with the highest figures of the second wave.

But Zapatero warned these figures must be treated “with caution”, as this is a “critical” moment.

The Spanish capital regularly receives thousands of visitors from other regions during the so-called ‘bridge of the Constitution’ – several holidays around Constitution Day on December 6, the religious festival of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and at the weekend, when thousands come to the capital city to see the Christmas lights and go shopping for gifts.

Madrid’s centre right regional leadership had until now rejected such an extended border closure, approving only a short four-day border closure in October at the insistence of the socialist Spanish government.

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