Government expects not to have to extend curfew after May 9
Budó says they hope to approve the regulatory framework tomorrow in case additional measures are necessary
BarcelonaThe Government works with the forecast that it will not be necessary to maintain the curfew once the state of alarm ends on May 9, but it is conditional on the fact that the evolution of epidemiological data maintains its downward trend of recent days. This was advanced by Minister of the Presidency Meritxell Budó on an interview to Radio 4 in which she pointed out that additional measures may not be necessary. In any case, the minister explained that the government plans to approve the regulatory framework tomorrow to be able to move forward with restrictions of this type once the state of alarm has been lifted. Budó admitted that they will always need judicial protection to apply these rules when they affect fundamental rights and explained that the legal services of the Catalan Government have contacted Catalonia's High Court to address this issue. "Everything leads us to believe that measures of this type will not be necessary," Budó advanced. This week's vaccination rhythm will be key in the evolution of the pandemic.
Be that as it may, the Government is developing the legal tools that would allow for restrictions such as curfews or regional lockdowns should data worsen. Any such decision, however, will require subsequent judicial authorisation.
In order to maintain a curfew, the Generalitat will have to modify the decree law 27/2020, which is the one that was drafted in summer after the judge on duty in Lleida overturned the local lockdown in Segrià. This decree allowed the government to impose travel restrictions and certain activities during a pandemic. Therefore, the government would have to include additional clauses to refer to curfews. Budó said the decree could be approved in tomorrow's cabinet meeting.
Curfews, travel restrictions and limits on the number of people per gathering are the main measures that will need judicial endorsement. "When the measures are limitations of fundamental rights, they have to be proportional", warned Josep Maria Aguirre, professor of administrative law at the University of Girona, in declarations to ARA.
According to Aguirre, "it is not so simple" to argue the curfew, because he recalls that in summer the Catalan Government banned the consumption of alcohol in public spaces and since then has also kept night bars and clubs closed, already limiting activities available at night. "They have maintained that the curfew is effective, but they have not had to justify it at any time," he adds. One of the doubts about the curfew is whether the High Court, which has not yet had to rule on it, will be favourable