Catalonia criticizes Spain-Madrid Covid restrictions deal as too little, too late

Same criteria to be applied to cities with over 100,000 people

Catalan health minister Alba Vergés (by Pol Solà)
Catalan health minister Alba Vergés (by Pol Solà) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 30, 2020 01:49 PM

Tuesday evening's news of an agreement between the Spanish and Madrid region governments to apply the same criteria in all cities with over 100,000 inhabitants when implementing new Covid-19 restrictions has caused a stir throughout Spain, with some accusing regional leader Isabel Díaz Ayuso of overstepping her authority and the country's health ministry of yielding to her demands.

Indeed, Catalan health minister Alba Vergés responded to this move on Wednesday by pledging to continue to deal with the public health crisis from Catalonia.

"We did not need an agreement to take action. We have made decisions, we will continue to make them and we do not feel challenged by these agreements with Madrid," Vergés affirmed in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio.

This agreement would see further measures put in place in cities with a sustained average of over 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days, a percent positive rate of over 10%, and a 35% ICU bed occupancy rate. At the moment, the only cities that meet these requirements are in the Madrid region.  

According to the Catalan health minister, Madrid was "very late" in responding to the pandemic, and added that Catalonia would not only be considering the public health markers highlighted in the Madrid-Spain deal but others as well including how they relate to population density or certain social factors.

Vergés also explained that Catalan authorities asked the Spanish government to implement mobility restrictions to prevent the disease from spreading rapidly to other regions with lower prevalence rates.