MADRID – Earlier this week there was a possibility of stricter corona measures in the week of Easter. However, it was decided to refrain from this and the situation remains as it was already established. Althought, the autonomous regions can take additional measures themselves.
As the number of Covid-19 cases is on the rise again in Spain, Health Minister Darias initially intended to terminate all non-essential activities throughout the country during Semana Santa at 8:00PM. However, the Inter-territorial Council decided to stick to the original plan from March 10. Only the regions of Cantabria and Castile and León supported the proposal to temporarily tighten corona measures further.
In a press conference, the minister announced a number of regions have already adjusted the measures on their own initiative. For example, early closure of all catering establishments. However, in order to bring the curfew forward nationally, the law governing the application of the state of emergency would have to be amended.
Accordingly, for the whole of Spain, it has been established that from Friday, March 26, there will be a regional lockdown. Also, a curfew will start at 11:00PM at the latest. Furthermore, a maximum of 4 to 6 people may come together and visitors may not be received at home. With these measures, Spain hopes to keep a fourth corona virus wave at bay for as long as possible.
Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska of the Interior has said that during Semana Santa, 64,000 agents of the National Police and the Guardia Civil will be deployed to enforce the corona measures. The regions of Madrid, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia have urged the central government to enforce strict national borders. This is in response to the discussion that arose after travel within Spain was banned, while tourists from outside Spain are allowed in.
Partly as a result of the British virus variant, the number of corona registrations rose again in 10 (of the 17) autonomous regions. In these regions, the percentage of covid patients in ICUs also rose to over 15%. In a number of regions, as many as 80% of people who tested positive were infected with the British virus variant. Minister Darias expects to receive 1,200 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the beginning of April. This will result in 80% of all over-80s being vaccinated by next month. The vaccination campaign will continue as usual in the week before Easter Monday.
“Extreme Risk” in Catalonia, Madrid and La Rioja
In total, more than 3.2million people in Spain have now become infected with the corona virus. And more than 74,000 people have died. The pressure on hospitals and IC departments remains unabated. Covid-19 patients occupy 18.6% of all available IC beds in Spain. In the region of Catalonia, Madrid, La Rioja and also in the autonomous city of Ceuta, this is above 25%. This high percentage crosses the threshold to a situation of “extreme risk”.