Note: This is a breaking news story and as such details are likely to be clarified over the next 24 hours. Please consider all content as ‘provisional’.
Key points of the latest decree are:-
- Regional governments will have the ability to prohibit travel in and out of their territories.
- A nationwide curfew between 11pm and 6am.
- A nationwide limit of 6 people in a social setting.
The Spanish Cabinet have confirmed a new national state of alarm. The new protocols have the dual aim of allowing Spain’s regional governments to limit mobility through their territories, and also within their territories by limiting night time socialising.
Regions may change the hours of the curfew forward or back by one hour, but they cannot remove it altogether.
The move has been taken in response to what the Government feels are the failure of current local lockdowns to curb socialising. They say that since bars have been forced to close earlier people, especially young people, have changed to socialising in private homes.
Spain’s borders will not be closed and nor will the regional borders of the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands have the lowest incidence rate in Spain and the Government have said they can keep their regional borders open to aid in their tourism. (Editor’s Comment – this is one point on which we hope there will be clarification. As it reads currently, the cabinet plan to allow international travel, but not inter-regional travel, except for to the Canary Islands. That does not read as making a great deal of sense to us here, but it wouldn’t be the first time something to do with Covid regs doesn’t make sense but is still the case)
The text also limits social gatherings to a maximum of six people for the entire country.
According to El Pais, as far as the regional and night time curfew restrictions are concerned “nearly all of the regions want to use such a measure in order to slow the second wave of the pandemic in Spain as quickly as possible, and reach the Christmas season with figures that are more under control.”
Back when announcing the first State of Alarm in March 2020, the Government had to gain parliamentary approval to extend the sate of alarm every 15 days. This proved difficult for the Government who do not hold an overall majority; indeed the state of alarm was only ended in June when it was clear they did not have support to extend it further.
To avoid this problem the Government have stated their intention that this state of Alarm will be in place until April, though initially it can only be put in place for 15 days. The intention to establish the state of alarm in the longer term will itself require agreement of a majority in the Spanish parliament.