THE Government has revealed it will be seeking a sixth and final extension to the state of alarm that will cover the COVID-19 de-escalation plan until the end of June.
The plan was revealed yesterday by deputy leader of the executive Carmen Calvo and comes after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez just managed to extend the emergency state to June 7 last week.
“Our country will soon come out of the state of alarm,” Calvo said, “The Government is currently considering, if there is a sufficient majority to do so, a final extension of the state of alarm that allows us to finish the four phases of what we have called the de-escalation plan.”
The PSOE-led government had previously tried to extend the state of alarm until the end of June but had to settle for June 7 following push back from the centre-right Ciudadanos party.
For the entire country to have completed the de-escalation plan by the end of next month, it will mean Madrid, Barcelona and most of Castilla y Leon will have to spend less than two weeks in either Phase 2 or 3, or both.
Those regions, along with Malaga and Granada, have yet to enter Phase 2 of the plan.
It is not yet clear what will happen if the Government fails to garner enough votes in the Congress of Deputies to secure the extension of the state of alarm.
Teresa Ribera, the minister in charge of the de-escalation plan, has previously refused to comment on that particular hypothetical.
Several government orders depend on the state of alarm, including the mandatory quarantine for international travellers.
The Government will likely have to make further concessions and promises to parties on the centre-right and in Catalunya to get another extension across the line.
The conservative Partido Popular and far-right Vox will not doubt vote down any extension, as they did last week.
Both parties have repeatedly attacked the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, with Vox stirring up protests across the country at the weekend.