The Spanish government on Thursday secured congressional approval for a six-month extension to the state of alarm declared last week to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The minority government of Pedro Sanchez´s PSOE / Podermos coalition secured enough votes for the measures to be passed with 194 votes in favour, 99 in abstention and 53 against.
The main opposition Partido Popular, abstained saying they would only support a two month state of alarm and called the six months measure “a legal abuse.”
The measures approved by the Spanish lower house of the Congress of Deputies gives powers to regional governments of the country´s 17 autonomous communities to decide whether and how to limit citizens mobility within and at their borders.
The Madrid regional government has announced that their border will be closed from 31st October to 2nd November and again from the 7th to 9th November to coincide with the two long weekends of All Saints and La Almudena.
The far right party Vox, which had earlier brought a no confidence motion before parliament anounced that it will challenge the government’s state of alarm before the courts.
The Health Minister Salvador Illa presented the measures to parliament said the country´s situation was “very worrying” and that the state of alarm would allow for the most effective way to combat the second wave of the pandemic and that it would be months before an effective vaccine can be rolled out to the most vulnerable.
To date Spain has registered nearly 1.3 million cases and 36,000 deaths from the virus.
The Prime Minister said last week the real figure was likely to be far higher.