Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has said on Tuesday that his government will not seek to extend the current ‘State of Alarm’ in the country beyond 9 May, the date it is set to expire.
He has also said that with ‘prudent and conservative’ estimates, the country’s vaccination strategy will start to increase so that by the end of August, 70% of the population – some 33 million citizens – will be immunised against Covid-19.
Spain declared a new nationwide ‘State of Alarm’ to combat Coronavirus from 25 October 2020. Officially in place for six months, it expires on 9 May 2021. Following on from Spain’s first lockdown that had run from March-June 2020, the main purpose of this latest state of alarm has been to enable the regional governments of Spain the legal requirements to impose and enforce nighttime curfews and other restrictions, where required. Once it expires on 9 May, the decision to continue with restrictive measures, where deemed necessary, will rest with the regional governments, and within their local authority powers. However, they would not form part of a national state of emergency.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Sánchez said that his government expects 25 million citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by late July, whilst still confirming the end-August target of inoculating 70% of the population.
‘The pace of vaccination will accelerate in April and then each month we will improve the vaccination pace from the previous month,’ the prime minister said.