Madrid court annuls central government’s COVID-19 curbs on city

By Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro

MADRID (Reuters) – A Madrid court on Thursday struck down a government order imposing a partial coronavirus lockdown on the Spanish capital, ruling in favour of the Madrid region in a standoff with national authorities just before a long holiday weekend.

Under the Health Ministry’s order, Madrid regional authorities on Friday barred residents from leaving the area, including nine satellite towns, without a valid reason, and imposed other measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in one of Europe’s worst virus hotspots.

Regional government chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso had opposed the order, saying it would ravage the region’s economy, also arguing the ministry had no power to impose such curbs on a region.

The Madrid regional court sided with her in its ruling, calling the restrictions “interference by public authorities in citizens’ fundamental rights without the legal mandate to support it”.

The restrictions imposed

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Madrid court annuls central government’s COVID curbs on city

MADRID (Reuters) – A Madrid court on Thursday struck down a government order imposing a partial lockdown on the city and nine satellite towns, ruling in favour of the Madrid region in a standoff with national authorities.

Under the health ministry’s order, Madrid regional authorities on Friday barred residents from leaving the area without a valid reason, and imposed other restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 contagion in one of Europe’s worst virus hotspots.

But regional government chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso had opposed the order, saying it would ravage the region’s economy, also arguing the ministry had no power to impose such curbs on a region.

The Madrid regional court sided with her in its ruling, calling the restrictions “interference by public authorities in citizens’ fundamental rights without the legal mandate to support it.”

In an initial reaction from the government – which can appeal the ruling –

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Italian government set to impose new curbs to tackle COVID-19 resurgence

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian government will likely impose new restrictions on the country in the coming week to try to beat back rising numbers of coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday.

The cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday to decide how to respond to an increase in infections, with southern Italian regions for the first time looking vulnerable to the disease.

“The battle isn’t over. We don’t have the numbers seen in other European countries … but we are in a phase of significant growth and I hope the country finds a spirit of unity,” Speranza told state broadcaster RAI.

The measures under review include making the wearing of masks obligatory outdoors across the whole country and re-introducing curbs on social gatherings.

“Masks are fundamental. The more we can get them used by Italians the better it will be,” said Speranza. Mask-wearing is currently compulsory

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Israeli minister quits government over COVID-19 curbs on protests

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s tourism minister resigned on Friday in protest at a new law that curbed demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the measure left him without a “shred of trust” in the veteran leader.

Asaf Zamir will be replaced by Orit Farkash Hacohen, a fellow member of the Blue and White party, a party spokeswoman said.

“My conscience does not allow me to stay in a government that prevents de facto protests,” Zamir said on Facebook. “Even at its most difficult time, Netanyahu runs the country according to his own political interest.”

Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, which forged a coalition government with Blue and White in May after a close election, called Zamir’s resignation an attempt to shore up support from liberal Israelis angry with the premier. Blue and White is led by Defence Minister Benny Gantz, a Netanyahu rival.

“Blue and White are sitting in a government

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Minister Quits Israeli Government Over COVID-19 Curbs on Protests | World News

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli minister resigned on Friday in protest against a new law that curbed demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the measure left him without a “shred of trust” in the veteran leader.

In a Facebook post, Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir said: “My conscience does not allow me to stay in a government that prevents de facto protests.”

“Even at its most difficult time, Netanyahu runs the country according to his own political interest,” said Zamir, a member of the Blue and White party led by defence minister and prominent Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz.

For months, Netanyahu has faced domestic protests against his handling of the coronavirus crisis and over allegations of corruption, which he denies.

Parliament on Wednesday approved a government-backed edict banning Israelis from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their homes, tightening a second-wave coronavirus lockdown that went into effect

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