Almost a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown with several hundred marching in protest as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19.
Spaniards are protesting in Madrid against the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the city's regional head, who has placed new restrictions on neighborhoods with the highest contagion rates.
However, Johnson says he does not want to impose "bigger lockdown measures" like those in the spring, due to the serious impact on the economy and education.
But he stressed he was not contemplating a national lockdown.
And once again, Madrid is the region with the worst outbreak, accounting for a third of the national figure for both infections and deaths with a level of transmission which the World Health Organization's European director has described as "alarming".
A certificate was issued for people who need to leave lockdown areas for work, regional authorities said on Sunday.
All bars and restaurants will have to reduce their capacity by 50 percent, the regional government of Madrid said in the statement.
England has banned gatherings of seven people or more since Monday.
Under new rules that take effect on midnight at Monday and will apply for an initial period of two weeks, people can only exit or enter the affected areas for work, education, health or similar reasons.
They sported placards reading "No to a class-based lockdown" or "They're destroying our district and now they're locking us up".
"The health centres having been working for years with minimum staffing, they don't have enough staff or nurses. and this crisis has made the situation worse", lamented Victoria, a 63-year-old civil servant.
The regional authorities quickly called for calm but the measure they take will not be clear until Friday. Other parts of the United Kingdom are also imposing restrictions.
Madrid officials have warned that the region's healthcare system was coming under increasing pressure with one in five hospital beds occupied by COVID patients.
Spain is now battling a resurgent second wave of COVID-19 although the mortality levels are far lower than they were in spring.
Infections are also spreading in Britain, which confirmed more than 4,300 new cases on Friday.