Spain orders nationwide curfew to stem virus outbreak

Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez on Sunday declared a national state of emergency that includes an overnight curfew in hopes of not repeating the near collapse of the country’s hospitals, news wires reported. Sanchez said the decision to restrict free movement on the streets of Spain between 11 p.m.-6 a.m. allows exceptions for commuting to work, buying medicine, and caring for elderly and young family members. He said the curfew takes effect on Sunday night and would likely remain in place for six months.

“The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic,” Sanchez said during a nationwide address after meeting with his Cabinet. “The situation we are living in is extreme.”

The leaders of Spain’s 17 regions and two autonomous cities will have authority to modify the curfew in their territory to start between 10:00-12:00 p.m. and end between 5:00-7:00 a.m., close regional borders to travel, and limit gatherings to six people who don’t live together, the prime minister said.

The curfew does not apply to Spain’s Canary Islands, which were recently removed from Britain’s and Germany’s list of unsafe travel destinations due to the favorable trajectory of the virus on the archipelago.

“There is no home confinement in this state of emergency, but the more we stay at home, the safer we will be. Everyone knows what they have to do,” the prime minister said on Sunday. He will ask Parliament’s lower house this week to extend the state of emergency until May.

Spain this week became the first European country to surpass 1m officially recorded COVID-19 cases. Sanchez acknowledged Friday in a nationally televised address that the true figure could be more than 3m, due to gaps in testing and other factors.

 

 

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles