Spain declares national night-time curfew to control Covid cases
Spain has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew in an effort to help control a new spike in Covid-19 infections.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the curfew lasts from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time (2200 to 0500 UTC/GMT ) with regional leaders allowed to vary the times, provided the measures are stricter.
Under the new measures, local authorities can also ban travel between regions, and public gatherings will be limited to six people from separate households.
Like many other European regions, Spain has been hit by a second wave of infections.
“The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic,” Mr. Sanchez said after a meeting with Cabinet colleagues.
“We are living in an extreme situation…it is the most serious in the last half-century,” he told a news conference.
Mr. Sanchez said he would ask parliament to extend the new rules, initially in force for 15 days, to six months.
Spain now has one of the highest numbers of infections in Western Europe, as infected cases passed one million on Friday, with an overall death toll close to 35,000.
More than half of Spain’s 17 regions had been calling for tighter restrictions, and the latest measures will apply to all regions except the Canary Islands.
The same level of emergency was introduced during the first wave of the pandemic in April. At that time, Madrid imposed one of the toughest lockdowns as the country’s health care system struggled to cope with the number of cases.
Measures were eased in the summer but like many other European countries, Spain has seen a second wave hit in recent weeks.