The Spanish government has ruled out allowing regional authorities to legally extend the current nighttime curfew to commence from 8pm, a measure requested by most regions as part of a wider effort to curb the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. The region of Asturias had even requested starting the curfew from 6pm.
‘It’s not a matter of passing more and more restrictions, but properly enforcing the ones already in place and waiting for the results,’ said Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa on Wednesday, following an online meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System with regional leaders.
Illa acknowledged that Spain’s latest Covid-19 figures are ‘not good’. Figures released on Wednesday showed an overall increase of 41,576 more cases of Coronavirus above the figures presented on Tuesday, but specifically 18,500 in a 24-hour period, a new record for the daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
The incidence rate is also over 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days in six regions: Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, the Valencia region, Extremadura, Murcia and La Rioja. Nearly all regions of Spain have been imposing further restrictions recently – from closing bars and restaurants (Valencia), confining citizens to their own municipalities (Catalonia), as well as closing sports and leisure facilities. ALSO READ: Details of curfews & restrictions for all regions of Spain during ‘State of Alarm’
At the moment, the current State of Alarm in Spain stipulates a nighttime curfew for the whole country from 11pm-6am, and regional authorities are only allowed a margin of one hour to bring forward or back these times. The State of Alarm also doesn’t cover measures to impose home confinement – something else that some regions have also asked for.
Many regional authorities have become increasingly dissatisfied with the tools at their disposal to fight the spread of Covid-19. They also worry that courts would overturn any tighter restrictions if they lack the legal authority to enforce them. The Europa Press news agency has reported that Andalusia is now asking citizens to follow a ‘voluntary and supportive’ curfew from 8pm after the refusal of the Health Ministry to advance the curfew. Other regions are expected to follow with similar requests.
Andalucía pide a los ciudadanos un toque de queda "voluntario y solidario" a partir de las 20 horas tras la negativa de Sanidad de adelantar el toque de queda https://t.co/UjKRG3Frsm pic.twitter.com/tEAvJpu8lq
— Europa Press (@europapress) January 21, 2021
Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain