Despite the new ban on non-essential travel across Madrid to halt the spread of coronavirus, it seems to be business as usual for the capital’s residents. Madrid has been the first European capital to reinstate a Covid-19 lockdown due to the second wave of infections, which have risen to above 850,000 across the country.

In Madrid the current infection rate stands at 850 per 100,000 people, the highest rate in Europe. By comparison, London is recording just over 600 cases per 100,000 people

On Monday, 300 police officers were dispatched to control 60 checkpoints in the capital. However, commuters traveled into the capital more or less as per usual. Many said that they did not even notice the extra police presence. “I haven’t seen any police controls. I don’t quite understand this situation that they have created,” student Cristina Canete told Reuters.

Concerned about economic repercussions of further restrictions implemented by the Health Ministry, last week the regional authority filed an appeal at Spain’s High Court. More specifically, the Madrid premier, Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the conservative Popular Party (PP) sought an injunction against the new restrictions. The legal challenge was rejected by the High Court on Monday. 

Even though many did not notice the increased police presence across Madrid, the capital’s restaurant and bar owners had to deal with 75,000 reservation cancellations on the weekend, which led to 8 million Euro losses. The new restrictions state that residents can only enter and leave the capital for work, school, shopping and health reasons. In addition, restaurants and bars have to close by 11 pm, instead of 1 am. 

With the capital’s hospitals overflowing, many experts say that the best first line of defense should be a healthy lifestyle. “Exercise and appropriate nutrition are key. Foods such as garlic, broccoli, ginger and spinach are rich in vitamins and nutrients that can boost the immune system, which is a good thing when it comes to some level of protection against corona and the common cold. Those who don’t have enough time to prepare nutrition meals at home should opt for supplements,” said the proprietor of sundt.uk.

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