THE pandemic is going to last longer than necessary if regional governments are not granted lockdown powers, Andalucia has warned.

President of the country’s most populous region Juanma Moreno made the comments during a hospital visit in Jaen on Friday.

The Partido Popular leader revealed he is now seeking permission from Madrid to bring the curfew starting time forward by three hours to 7pm.

“We are going to take more time in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic because we do not have the tools to limit mobility,” he told reporters at the University Hospital of Jaen.

Moreno’s requests for extra powers, including home confinements in the worst hit municipalities, were rejected once again by Madrid on Thursday.

“These are very reasonable requests and nothing to write home about,” Moreno said.

“If we have to make decisions, let’s make them, and if we have to make tough decisions, let’s do so as soon as possible for them to take effect.”

He added that he would implement a region-wide 7pm curfew from tomorrow if permitted.

“A person leaves work at six, has an hour to get home and stays there,” he said.

He added: “Curfews and home confinements are fundamental tools in controlling infections that right now, the Government, for reasons that I am not able to understand, is not granting to the autonomous regions, and that is undermining our controlling of the pandemic, which is going to take more time because we don’t have such instruments of power.”

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