Madrid resists government pressure to extend soft lockdown

MADRID (AP) — Health authorities in Madrid are expanding restrictions on movement to a further eight areas of the Spanish capital, which is leading the country’s contagion curve, despite a recommendation from the national government that the partial lockdown should apply to all the city.

Over 850,000 residents in 37 neighborhoods have been confined this week to their areas unless they have a reason to go elsewhere, while maximum capacity in shops and restaurants has been reduced.

Those limitations will now be expanded to 160,000 more people in areas where more than 1,000 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the new virus in the past two weeks — the highest rates in Europe — the Madrid regional government announced Friday.

Throughout Madrid and its surrounding region, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 6 people.

In a hastily organized press conference, national Health Minister Salvador Illa said that

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