United Kingdom

Spain declares new State of Emergency set to last until MAY

Spain has declared a second nation-wide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases.

The new state of emergency will initially last for 15 days but the Government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension, meaning the restrictions could be enforced until early May 2021.

An overnight curfew will be enforced between 11pm until 6am starting on Sunday night.

Regions have the power to limit movement in and out of their territories, and could also extend the curfew by an hour on either end depending on local conditions. 

This week saw Spain becoming the first European country to record more than a million cases of the virus - and almost 35,000 people have died from it.

Spain has declared a second nation-wide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases. Pictured: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

View of a deserted Plaza Mayor at 12pm as part of a city-wide night time curfew in Madrid, Spain on October 24

A local policeman stands guard next to a bar before a curfew was imposed at bars and restaurants in Valencia

On Friday alone, 19,851 cases were reported along with 231 deaths. Some 20,986 positive tests were seen on Thursday.

Spain's new measures were agreed earlier Sunday at a two-and-a-half-hour cabinet meeting convened following calls from Spanish regions for the power to impose curfews themselves.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised speech that 'the situation we are going through is extreme.

Mr Sanchez nonetheless said that if conditions allowed, the measures could be lifted earlier than the anticipated six months.

Puerta del Sol is seen deserted at 12pm as part of a city-wide night time curfew in Madrid

Local policemen stop a vehicle at a checkpoint amid a curfew imposed in Valencia in the early hours of the morning on October 25

'The state of emergency is the most effective tool to lower the rate of infection,' he argued.

Authorities were responding to calls for help from 10 Spanish regions and the city of Melilla, the government statement said.

Valencia and Madrid both imposed regional curfews ahead of the nation-wide announcement. 

Spain was locked down during an initial state of emergency that lasted from March 15 to June 21, and the measures were among the strictest anywhere in Europe.

Sanchez said that he sought 'at any price' to avoid a second severe lockdown.

'Let's stay home as much as possible,' he urged in the television address.

'The more we stay home the more protected we and others will be.' 

On Thursday, the Canary Islands were added to Britain's quarantine-free travel list.

Travellers arriving from the popular holiday destinations - which include Tenerife and Lanzarote - will no longer face a 14-day quarantine from Sunday after Covid-19 cases fell to acceptable levels, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: 'Following an assessment of the latest data, the Canaries, the Maldives, Denmark and Mykonos have been ADDED to the #TravelCorridors list. From 4am on Sunday October 25, you will no longer need to self-isolate if you arrive from those destinations.' 

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