Spain to extend coronavirus State of Emergency until at least April 11th
Spain is to extend its State of Emergency declaration until April 11th, wiping out Easter for the entire country.
Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez is asking Congress to back his proposal, together with new regulations to try and stem the spread of coronavirus. The deadly disease has now claimed the lives of 1,720 people with a total of 28,572 positive cases.
Mr. Sanchez has warned there is worse to come and expects figures to soar by the end of next week. At the moment, he has refused pleas to halt all economic activity in Spain, saying his measures are tough enough.
However, the Spanish Government is to take control of nursing homes where they have been a substantial number of deaths and the Army will be responsible for moving patients into hotels offered as hospitals and the conference centre in Madrid which will accommodate 5,000 beds.
There will also be new restrictions for 30 days on many foreigners entering Spain through its airports and ports. Spanish nationals and foreigners living in Spain will be exempt.
The original State of Emergency was declared on March 14th but, by law, can only last 15 days. If endorsed by Congress, it will last until Easter Saturday, April 11th at least. Spaniards celebrate their Easter on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. All Easter events have been cancelled and in Mallorca, the Bishop has ordered the closure of all churches.
The confinement rules say people can only go out in order to travel to work, to go to the supermarket, chemist or bank or to visit elderly relatives.
Because of confusion, the Civil Guard has clarified that people going out on foot or in the car, or to walk the dog, must do so alone unless accompanying someone who is disabled. They cannot play sport, go running, go for a walk or take exercise outside, even if their doctor has instructed them to do so. Anyone caught flouting the law will be fined.
In a public address, Mr. Sanchez said: “Unfortunately the number of diagnosed cases is going to rise in the coming days. The worst is yet to come, and it is pushing our capacities to the limit.”