Covid-19: Spain declares a state of health emergency and establishes a curfew

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, October 22, 2020 during a parliamentary session in Madrid.

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Pool via AP

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

The explosion in Covid-19 cases is forcing the Spanish government to take further action.

Pedro Sanchez announced, Sunday, October 25, the establishment of a state of health emergency until May 2021, as well as a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. throughout the country, except the Canary Islands.

The Spanish Prime Minister evokes an "extreme situation" in a country where nearly 35,000 people have succumbed to the coronavirus.


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Like several other European countries facing the

second wave of Covid-19

, Spain is mobilizing.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez addressed the population in a televised address on Sunday October 25 after an extraordinary Council of Ministers.

The government is reacting to the deteriorating health situation this fall.

The "state of alert", the name given in Spain to the state of health emergency, is introduced with immediate effect.

According to the Constitution, this will have an initial duration of 15 days.

But the government sees further.

Pedro Sanchez will ask the deputies to “ 

extend it until the beginning of May


The date of May 9, 2021 has been brought forward.

The Prime Minister should not be contradicted, since a majority of deputies are in favor of this extension.

"The situation we are going through is extreme"

This state of health emergency, which is to last more than six months, is not the only important measure announced.

A nighttime curfew is also established throughout the country, except the

Canary Islands


, little affected by the Covid-19.

In principle, Spaniards will not be able to leave their homes between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But Pedro Sanchez grants the 17 regions the possibility of bringing forward or delaying the start and end of this curfew by one hour, depending on local characteristics.

Spain, which deplores nearly 35,000 deaths from the coronavirus, became on Wednesday October 21 the first country in the European Union to have

more than one million cases of Covid-19


Two days later, the Prime Minister even advanced more than three million cases in the country since the virus appeared there.


The situation we are going through is extreme,

 ” Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday.

Understanding the angustia of the ciudadanía.

Es difícil vencer the preocupación y sobreponerse al cansancio ante la situación.

Por eso, os doy las GRACIAS.

Necesitamos disciplina, lo mejor de cada uno y la fuerza de todos y todas.

Y así, lo conseguiremos.

Unidos frente al virus.

  Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) October 25, 2020

Pedro Sanchez wants to avoid "at all costs" a total reconfinement

The state of alert now applied to almost the entire territory is " 

the most effective tool for bending the contagion curve

 ", continued the head of government, after a Council of Ministers which lasted more than two hours.

The state of alert will in particular make it possible to prevent courts from again countering measures restricting freedoms, such as curfews.

People going to work or needing treatment or medication will be able to travel between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Pedro Sanchez hopes to be able to lift the state of alert and the curfew as soon as possible.

Calling for the support of all political parties, he invites his fellow citizens to be extremely careful.


Let's stay at home as much as possible.

The more we stay at home, the more we are protected and the more others are,

 ”he said.

The objective is also to avoid " 

at all costs

 " a strict and total re-containment, as in the spring.


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  • Spain

  • Health and medicine

  • Coronavirus

  • Pedro Sanchez

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