Spain imposes national curfew to curb Covid-19 infections

Written By: BBC
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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.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the curfew, between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00, would come into force on Sunday.

Under the emergency measures, local authorities can also ban travel between regions, he said.

Mr Sánchez said he would ask parliament to approve an extension of the new rules from 15 days to six months.

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Spain was hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year and imposed a much more restrictive lockdown – one of the toughest in the world.

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Like many other European regions, however, it has been hit by a second wave of infections.

In Italy, new restrictions were also announced on Sunday. The government said the steady rise in cases there was causing a huge strain on the country’s health services.

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Mr Sánchez said different regions would have up to an hour of flexibility if they wanted to modify the duration of the overnight curfew.

He said restrictions on movement between districts would be determined by regional leaders and was likely to be dependent on work and medical needs.

The new measures announced include a limit on public and private gatherings of different households to a maximum of six people.

“The situation we are going through is extreme,” Mr Sánchez said in a televised address on Sunday, adding: “It is the most serious in the past half-century.”

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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.

Spain has passed one million cases since it began and more than 37,000 people have died.

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