The Spanish government has declared a national state of alarm in order to be able to impose lockdown measures to combat the coronavirus wave that has hit the country.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country has a “long road ahead” to bring the infection rate down.
The measures announced today include a night-time curfew from 23.00 through to 0600 in all of the country’s 17 autonomous communities although different regions would have up to an hour of flexibility for an earlier or later start.
The Madrid regional government announced on Friday a night time curfew from midnight to 0600.
Restrictions on movement between the autonomous communities would be taken locally and not by the central government.
This would allow regional governments to close access from other autonomous communities. Some of whom such as Castilla y Leon have long advocated such measures in an effort to stem the flow of Madrileños, many of whom have weekend and second homes in the region from entering.
Spain´s international borders will remain open and the Canary Islands is exempted from the nighttime curfew in an effort to encourage international tourism. This week saw the UK announcing that visitors to the islands will be exempted from quarantine measures that still apply to the rest of Spain.
The new measures announced include a limit on public and private gatherings of different households to a maximum of six people throughout the country.
“The situation we are going through is extreme,” Mr Sánchez said in a televised address on Sunday, adding: “It is the most serious in the past half century.”
Under Spain´s constitution the government can impose a state of alarm for up to 15 days before requiring parliamentary approval for any further period.
To date Spain has recorded 1,110,372 coronavirus cases of whom 34,752 have died.