Spain has declared a national state of emergency in an attempt to curtail a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
COVID-19 infections in Spain have now surpassed the one million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University – the First Nation in Europe to reach that milestone. They recorded 19,851 new cases on Friday, prompting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the government in Madrid to declare a state of emergency on Sunday morning that is set to remain in force until 9 May 2021.
According to The Guardian, the restrictions include an overnight curfew which will run from 11pm to 6am, or to begin and finish and hour earlier or later, which will be enforced by Spain’s regional governments.
The new COVID-19 state of emergency in Spain follows Sweden’s decision to abandon its no-lockdown policy, all in response to the “second wave” of COVID-19 infections that is being observed in Europe, as well as other parts of the world, such as South Africa.
The state of emergency also permits Spain’s regional governments to bring in full or partial lockdowns, and limits public and private gatherings to six people, according to The Guardian‘s report.
“We have to protect our economic and work activity and preserve, as far as we can, the rhythms of our lives,” Sánchez said in a televised address on Sunday afternoon. “Sacrifices will be indispensable. No one, not the government of Spain nor its regional governments, want to impose a single restriction that isn’t necessary to flatten the curve and protect public health.”
Furthermore, neighbouring Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte’s government has ordered the closure of gyms and swimming pools, and while bars and restaurants can offer takeaway services, they must stop in-house dining from 6pm.
Yesterday, 404,793 new cases of COVID-19 were reported around the world, which is almost double what that figure was two months ago.