SPAIN’S Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has repeated his view that the current State of Alarm is ‘sufficient’ to counter the rise in coronavirus cases.

The Madrid government has faced pressure from the regions to change the State of Alarm provisions to extend curfew hours and to have the option of some form of lockdown.

The Castilla y Leon government has unilaterally introduced a new curfew start time of 8.00 pm and faces legal action from Madrid.

In a radio interview, Salvador Illa said: “We need to wait to see what effect the current restrictions have on the pandemic based on what our experts have told us.”

Regions like Andalucia and Murcia have asked for greater powers and Illa threw them an olive branch to try to placate their frustration.

“We always have had the view that we need to listen to and consider the different proposals put forward by the regions in the fight against the pandemic,” he told SER Radio.

The Madrid government has been criticised for going to court over the Castilla y Leon curfew change.

Catalunya’s Health Minister, Alba Verges, said: “The government is sending mixed messages with its legal action but then wanting the regions to come up with their ideas for this Wednesday’s Inter-territorial Council meeting.”

Despite the ‘wait and see’ approach of the current State of Alarm, Salvador Illa admitted: “The evolution of the pandemic is very worrying.”

It’s unclear why Spain has chosen to go against the established ‘norm’ of most other West European countries in not introducing nationally-led restrictions including some form of home confinement coupled with an earlier curfew time.

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