MADRID - Madrid city hall said Wednesday it will deploy drones at two of the largest cemeteries in the Spanish capital on All Saints' Day to ensure virus restrictions are respected.
Spanish families traditionally visit the graves of loved ones on the November 1 holiday but this year, capacity at cemeteries in Madrid has been reduced to half because of the pandemic.
Groups of visitors will be limited to no more than six and they must respect social distancing rules.
To ensure people keep to the rules, up to 300 municipal police will be deployed daily at cemeteries in the Spanish capital over three days from October 30, city hall said. The figure is 20 percent higher than last year.
Officers 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 Jose Luiz Martinez-Almeida told reporters.
It is not the first time Madrid police have deployed drones to enforce virus restrictions: when a national lockdown began in March, police used loudspeakers mounted on drones to tell people in parks and public spaces to go home.
Last week, Spain became the first European Union nation to surpass one million confirmed COVID-19 infections, with the virus claiming more than 35,000 lives thus far.