Spain declares new state of emergency as COVID-19 cases surge
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Sunday announced a new state of emergency that imposes a curfew in an effort to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases.
Driving the news: The mandate comes less than a week after Spain became the first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million COVID-19 cases.
Details: The 11pm to 6am curfew will begin Sunday night local time and will likely last for six months, Sanchez said.
- The curfew allows for exceptions for those going to work, buying medicine, and taking care of elderly and young family members.
- Authorities from Spain’s 17 regions and two autonomous cities can set their own rules as long as they are stricter than the national mandate, AP reports.
- Sanchez said he will ask the Parliament’s lower house to extend the state of emergency until May, though it could be lifted earlier if conditions improve. A state of emergency can last no longer than two weeks, unless endorsed by the Congress of Deputies, per AP.
What they're saying: “The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic,” Sanchez said during a nationwide address.
- “The situation we are living in is extreme,” he added.
- Sanchez also noted that this mandate is less restrictive than the first one declared in March. “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,” he said.
The big picture: Restrictions are returning across Europe as the continent faces a new wave of coronavirus infections.
- French President Emmanuel Macron recently declared a state of health emergency and instated a curfew on some of the regions that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus.