Madrid Region Orders Masks to Be Worn in All Public Spaces

Madrid is joining other regions of Spain in ordering the use of face masks in public spaces, including in its bars and restaurants that are a prime tourist attraction.

Gatherings will be limited to 10 people and capacity in eateries will also be reduced in the region around the Spanish capital, the community’s president Isabel Díaz Ayuso said in a televised statement Tuesday. Night clubs must shut at 1 a.m.

With more than 8,400 Covid-19 deaths since beginning of the pandemic, Madrid was perhaps the country’s hardest-hit region in sheer numbers, although Catalonia has caught up in infections. Madrid recorded 38 cases that required hospitalization in the past seven days, of 349 nationwide as of Monday.

The face-mask measures will take effect Thursday and also recommend limiting gatherings private houses to 10 people.

“It will be much easier to avoid lockdowns,” Ayuso said. “The strategy now is not to go back,” she said.

At one point in April, Spain had the world’s highest mortality rate from Covid-19, excluding microstates like San Marino. More than 120 countries have now made wearing masks in public places compulsory. While the World Health Organization initially said masks weren’t necessary, it changed its stance in June, months after the pandemic took hold.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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