SPAIN’S Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has rebuffed calls to reimpose night curfews to fight rising COVID-19 infections.
Case rates are approaching late February levels in many parts of the country with unvaccinated younger people being the main source of new infections.
The Castilla y Leon region yesterday(July 6) asked the national government for permission to reintroduce a curfew between 1.00 am and 6.00 am.
Speaking in Estonia, during a tour of the Baltic states, Pedro Sanchez said: “Health is in the hands of the regional governments and it is communities that can and should respond to changes in managing the pandemic.”
“Regional governments can come up with the necessary answers and it is not necessary to approve anything other than what is agreed between them and the Ministry of Health,” he added.
Sanchez was referring to the Interterritorial Council meetings held every Wednesday led by Health Minister, Carolina Darias, which involves her 17 regional counterparts.
An internal Health Ministry report will be discussed at today’s meeting(July 7).
it recommends the closure of nightlife businesses; further restrictions on bars and restaurants that cannot maintain current health; and the suggestion of ‘night-time mobility’ restrictions.
Regions can already exercise power over nightlife and hospitality opening with Catalunya announcing a full nightlife closure from this Friday.
The issue of a curfew is a ‘grey area’ as without the national backing of a State of Alarm, regions that choose to have one may find their decisions overturned in court.
Besides brushing aside the possibility of a third State of Alarm, Sanchez concentrated on the vaccination programme.
“The important thing is to move ahead with vaccinations,“ he observed.
Sanchez continued: “We have over 41% of the population that have been fully immunised and 56.3% with at least one dose. We are going to achieve our 70% full immunisation target before the end of August.”