Madrid goes into partial lockdown ahead of NATO summit

Madrid goes into partial lockdown ahead of NATO summit Image - NATO

Madrid has gone into a partial lockdown ahead of the NATO summit later this week, with TV networks reporting an increased police presence and major disruption to traffic and public transport services.

The city is in a heightened state of alert as security services conduct sweeps ahead of the summit to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 29 and 30. Roadblocks are in operation across all access points into the city slowing the flow of traffic, whilst train stations and other public transport nodes are seeing a higher police presence.

Anti-NATO demonstrations over the weekend caused some disruption and are expected to add to the delays and difficulties of moving around Madrid this week, with some areas closed to the public altogether.

The summit will see 40 international leaders come together along with roughly 5,000 ministers and support staff. They will be protected by 10,000 officers from the security forces.

The operation is being conducted in collaboration with CNI, Interpol, Europol, NATO security and police forces from the 40 or so countries involved, in what is one of the largest collaborations of police forces ever seen.

With 10,000 security personnel, 6,550 national police and 2,400 Guardia working to protect the city along with local emergency services, residents and visitors to Madrid are being warned that they face major disruption and the possibility of personal security checks.

The metro station closest to IFEMA, the venue of the talks, will also be closed for the week and is only due to reopen on Friday.

Cyber security has also been stepped up with special protection for telecommunication systems and the management of the summit, whilst added measures are being taken across all Spanish security forces.  

Venues such as the Prado Museum will also be closed from Tuesday evening through to Friday as these will be used for working dinners as part of the NATO summit in Madrid.  

No public will have access to the area surrounding the Royal Palace, the Royal Theatre and the Reina Sofía Museum and the axis of the Paseo de la Castellana (for the hotels where many delegations will stay).

Barajas (Madrid International) airport and the Torrejón Air Base will also be affected with passengers urged to check the changes before continuing to the airport. They are also advised to allow for extra time as there will be increased security checks.

Areas affected outside of Madrid include the Royal Site of San Ildefonso and the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, in Segovia. These venues will host the wives of NATO leaders.  

Roads and parking

According to EFE the following will be affected:

  • The entrances and exits to Madrid on the A-2, the M-11 and the M-40, in the section between these two roads, will register traffic cuts from tomorrow, Tuesday, especially early morning and late afternoon.
  • To access Madrid by car, the only high-capacity alternative itinerary is the R-2 to then take the M-50 towards the capital, bearing in mind that there will also be road closures and traffic will be very complicated.
  • For journeys to and from Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas airport, the recommendation is to use Metro and Cercanías.
  • Starting today, Monday, it is forbidden to park in the areas marked out by the Madrid City Council, with special attention to the central almond of the city.
  • The axis of the Paseo de la Castellana will be “completely closed” at times, as well as the Paseo del Prado, due to the transfer of the different NATO delegations.
  • The Ifema Madrid area will be especially affected, with traffic cuts in the vicinity.

Public transport

  • Public transport is reinforced with a 10% increase in Metro trains on lines 1, 5, 6 and 10 and, if necessary, also on lines 4 and 9.
  • All EMT lines will be free Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • The Feria de Madrid station will remain closed from Tuesday 28 to 30 June, both inclusive, and the arrival and departure of the area is reinforced with two more bus lines, 104 and 112 of the EMT.
  • For security reasons, public transport could be changed at any time, as well as the frequency of trains, or the closure and control of capacity in certain stations.

The security services have asked residents to avoid travelling into Madrid if at all possible with increased security, closures and diversions likely to cause severe delays and cancellations of services. The partial lockdown of Madrid ahead of the NATO summit is said to be especially important this year in light of the war in Ukraine and the tensions with Russia.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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