To curb the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, the government in Spain has again declared a national emergency and announced a night-time ban.
The imposition of the so-called state of alarm, the third highest level of emergency in the country, was decided on Sunday at an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers in Madrid, as announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. The measure should come into force on Sunday with publication in the Official Journal.
The state of emergency will initially apply for two weeks. An extension would have to be approved by Parliament. With the support of the opposition, he hopes to be able to extend the emergency until May 9, said Sánchez. The head of the left minority government emphasized that the declaration of a state of emergency had been requested by ten of Spain’s 17 regions, the so-called autonomous communities. “Spain is in an extreme situation,” warned the socialist.
Order applies to the whole country
Only in a state of emergency can the government restrict people’s freedom of movement. In contrast to the state of alarm that prevailed in Spain between March 14th and June 20th due to Corona, this time there is no total curfew, but only a night-time ban between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. However, the regions are given leeway to design the blocking and may, depending on the specific situation, schedule the start between 10 p.m. and midnight and the end between five and seven a.m.
The arrangement applies practically to the whole country. Only the Canaries are excluded. The holiday region in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa, which, like the Balearic Islands and Mallorca, is particularly dependent on tourism, had recently gotten the virus back under control to some extent. A few days ago, Germany and Great Britain removed them from the list of risk areas.
Meetings of more than six people prohibited
Even before the state of emergency was declared, two regions, Valencia and Castile and León, had night-time barring in effect on Sunday night. As part of the state of emergency, the regions can now lock themselves off on their own initiative, without having to fear that the judiciary will overturn this measure and decide on other restrictions. In addition, gatherings of more than six people who do not live in the same household are prohibited throughout the country until further notice.
Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in Western Europe. So far, more than a million infected people have been registered, and almost 35,000 people have died with Covid-19. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days is 191.11 with an upward trend. For comparison: In Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute, this value is 68.4.