Madrid authorities announced Wednesday they will deploy drones at two of the largest cemeteries in the capital on All Saints’ Day. As The Local Spain reports, the stricter measures aimed at ensuring COVID health protocol is respected.
All Saints’ Day becomes another holiday when the authorities are applying new health protocol. Traditionally, the Spanish families visit the graves of loved ones on November 1st but this year, capacity at cemeteries in Madrid has been reduced to half because of the COVID epidemic.
In his recent speech, prime minister Pedro Sanchez said that the government sought to avoid another nationwide lockdown, as was imposed during the first wave, but pleaded with citizens to stay at home as much as possible to keep infections under control.
According to the new protocol, the groups of visitors will be limited to no more than six and they must respect social distancing rules, Mayor Jose Luiz Martinez-Almeida said.
Madrid city hall urges people to keep to the rules, that is why up to 300 municipal police will be deployed daily at cemeteries in the capital over three days from October 30.
In fact, it is not the first time police have deployed drones to enforce corona restrictions: when a national lockdown began in March, officers used loudspeakers mounted on drones to tell people in parks and public spaces to go home.
Madrid police will be backed by drones on All Saints’ Day
Police patrols will be backed up by drones at two of the city’s largest cemeteries, one of which is La Almudena, where famous Spaniards like flamenco legend Lola Flores and Nobel-winning neuroscientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal are buried. The other is the Carabanchel cemetery.
“We can’t allow crowds to form either inside or outside” cemeteries on these days, Mayor told.
Last week, Spain became the first European Union nation to surpass one million confirmed Covid-19 cases. To avoid the deteriorating of the epidemiological situation, PM Sanchez said the nationwide curfew between 11 pm and 6 am would be imposed immediately, following requests by 10 of the country’s 17 regions.
As the head of government explained, a so-called state of alert planned to be activated. It grants the state emergency powers to permit the curfew, allow territorial restrictions and ban meetings of more than six people across the country.
In addition, PM is going to seek parliamentary approval this week from all of Spain’s political parties to prolong the extraordinary legal order until May 9. “All of Europe is now taking measures to limit mobility and personal contacts,” Sanchez said and added people have never confronted something like this as a society before.