SPAIN is on the verge of taking ‘extraordinarily tough’ measures to battle coronavirus by ordering the entire nation’s workers to stay at home – except for those in ‘essential’ services.

Pedro Sanchez announced the measures in a live broadcast this evening saying that from Monday, March 30, until Thursday, April 9 (inclusive).

The orders will approved tomorrow, Sunday, in a minister’s meeting.

“These measures will further restrict the movement of people, decreasing the risk of infection, and allowing us to unclog the intensive care units,” the prime minister said.

It comes as Spain has seen 72,000 Covid-19 infections and 5,960 resulting deaths, and follows an extension of the state of alarm last Wednesday.

Sanchez insisted that workers will ‘continue to receive their salaries as normal’.

He said that work considered ‘non-essential’ will amplify restrictions already existing in the Royal Decree announcing the state of alarm.

Construction workers and any factory workers not making medical equipment, products of ‘primary necessity or aiding the food industry, will be fined for circulating on Spanish roads.

The government has announced a ‘permiso retribuido’ (paid leave) package for anyone required to stay at home from Monday.

Newspapers and media companies are considered ‘essential’, Sanchez added, meaning workers will not be fined.

The public may of course still use the roads for buying food, medicines or for other reasonable reasons outlined in the state of alarm decree.

More details to follow..

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