Spain cur­few amid a spike in COVID-19

New York Daily News - - NEWS -

Buck­ling un­der the resur­gence of coro­n­avirus in Europe, the Spanish gov­ern­ment de­clared Sun­day a na­tional state of emergency that in­cludes an overnight cur­few in hopes of not re­peat­ing the near col­lapse of the coun­try’s hos­pi­tals.

Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez said the de­ci­sion to re­strict free move­ment on the streets of Spain be­tween 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. al­lows ex­cep­tions for com­mut­ing to work, buy­ing medicine, and car­ing for el­derly and young fam­ily mem­bers. He said the cur­few would likely re­main in place for six months.

“The re­al­ity is that Europe and Spain are im­mersed in a sec­ond wave of the pan­demic,” Sanchez said. “The sit­u­a­tion we are liv­ing in is ex­treme.”

The lead­ers of Spain’s 17 re­gions and two au­ton­o­mous cities will have au­thor­ity to mod­ify the cur­few in their ter­ri­tory to start be­tween 10 p.m. and 12 p.m. and end be­tween 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., close re­gional bor­ders to travel, and limit gath­er­ings to six peo­ple who don’t live to­gether, the prime min­is­ter said.

The cur­few does not ap­ply to Spain’s Ca­nary Is­lands, which were re­cently re­moved from Bri­tain’s and Ger­many’s lists of un­safe travel des­ti­na­tions due to the fa­vor­able tra­jec­tory of the virus on the ar­chi­pel­ago.

With the main­land cur­few, Spain is fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of neigh­bor­ing France, where the gov­ern­ment or­dered a 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. cur­few for ma­jor cities and large swaths of the coun­try.

Health of­fi­cials have been tar­get­ing nightlife and par­ty­ing as some of the main sources for the lat­est re­vival of in­fec­tions.

Sanchez said he will ask par­lia­ment’s lower house this week to ex­tend the state of emergency un­til May. As dic­tated by the con­sti­tu­tion, a state of emergency can last no longer than two weeks with­out the en­dorse­ment of the Con­gress of Deputies.

Spain’s sec­ond na­tion­wide emergency of the pan­demic is not as re­stric­tive as the manda­tory home con­fine­ment that Sanchez or­dered in March and lasted for six weeks be­fore be­ing grad­u­ally re­laxed as the num­ber of new con­firmed cases fell.

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