Society 24/03/2021

Spain will not tighten measures over Easter despite spike in infections

Darias, however, calls on communities to extend restrictions because she considers the agreement "minimum"

3 min
Control of the Mossos de escuadra by mobility restrictions by covid

No travelling between regions, curfew at the latest at 23h and meetings in public and private spaces up to six people and four maximum indoors. These will finally be the restrictions that will come into force throughout the state - with the exception of the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, where travellers having obtained a negative PCR test result will be allowed - from Thursday in the face of the Easter holidays. The Ministry of Health and the regions have not reached an agreement within the inter-territorial council to tighten the measures, as the head of the Spanish government, Carolina Darias, was seeking. She proposed the closure of non-essential activity at 20h, as advanced this morning by El Mundo and confirmed by the Catalan Health Minister, Alba Vergés, who was reluctant to the idea pending further details.

During the day, ministry sources dismissed the idea, which at no time consisted in advancing the curfew to 20h, since it would mean a modification of the current state of alarm - it should be borne in mind that the Spanish government appealed against this measure when Castilla y León tried to put it in place-. In any case, after the meeting of the inter-territorial council Darias pointed out that the agreed are "minimum measures" and has called on the communities to impose harsher measures if the situation worsens. In fact, in Catalonia having dinner out has been banned for weeks.

The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, has insisted during an event on the need to comply with the measures of the health authorities scrupulously to avoid a fourth wave that is beginning to be noticed in Spain and already strongly noticed by different European countries such as France, Italy and Germany. In Spain, the incidence gradually begins to rebound (last week it was around 125 infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days and is now at 132), as well as admissions to intensive care units. That is why the Spanish government is calling on people "not to relax".

The Minister of Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has announced that 64,200 police officers will be deployed between agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard to enforce the ban on unjustified travel. i.e. not for work, doctor's appointments or returning home. "We are still in an exceptional situation and should avoid big trips," Marlaska has warned, claiming that last weekend, during the bank holiday weekend in some regions, 162,000 controls were made and 9,500 proposals for sanctions.

Ayuso is against it

In total, both Madrid, Andalusia, Catalonia, Asturias, Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha have rejected the proposal, according to the response of their respective departments. One of the communities most affected by the closure at 8pm would have been Madrid, which has made having bars and restaurants open until 11pm in the main insignia of the government of Isabel Diaz Ayuso at the gates of the early elections. In fact, Ayuso has claimed that if so, it would end up leading to dinners in private homes - in the Spanish capital it is forbidden to meet in homes, but all bars and restaurants are open without interruptions beyond curfew.

Debate on European travel

Despite the fact that Brussels has asked for "coherence" from Spain in the travel restrictions it applies inside and outside the border, since it is forbidden during Easter Week to travel between communities but any European citizen can travel with a PCR, the Spanish government does not intend to take any action on this issue. What's more, it is hiding behind a European agreement from last October which states that free movement must be allowed. Sánchez has defended during the control session in Parliament that Spain is "coherent and consistent" with European recommendations. Asked about the possibility of imposing mandatory quarantines to avoid the case of French leisure travellers in Madrid, Darias has ruled them out and has clung to the fact that there are mandatory quarantines in place for some countries - but only in Latin America and Africa.

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