Politicians put off decision on nighttime curfews, despite growing support

Borders were closed to non-essential travel in Navarra on Thursday.
Borders were closed to non-essential travel in Navarra on Thursday. / EFE
  • The national Health ministry discussed the proposal with regional ministers at their regular meeting on Thursday afternoon

The government’s Health ministry met with the health chiefs of Spain’s autonomous regions on Thursday afternoon to discuss nationwide guidelines on more severe lockdown measures which include possible nighttime curfews.

The scheduled, regular meeting was held against a background of increased calls from some regional presidents for a nighttime lockdown. Politicians and experts were debating ways to give legal cover to the move, which is seen as currently not possible without a state of alarm decree.

In the end politicians put off the difficult curfew decision for a future meeting, while agreeing to standardise the approach to restrictions in other ways.

In central government’s plan being discussed with the regions on Thursday, it was reported that four different levels of alert would be established.

Measures could range from the stricter curfews to closing bars at 10pm and recommending that people don’t leave their homes at night.

Case numbers rise

Spain has seen its contagion levels continue to rise in the past week. On Thursday 20,986 new cases were added to the central government statistics. This week Spain’s official figures broke the one-million case barrier.

Granada and several northern areas of Spain joined Madrid this week with local restrictions of movement in and out of them. The northeastern region of Navarra had is borders closed from Thursday by its regional leaders for all but essential travel

The Castilla y León region was asking for nationwide curfew measures on Thursday, with several of its largest cities facing local restrictions on movement.

The regional governments of La Rioja and Aragón also stayed one step ahead of national government coordination plans on Wednesday by decreeing localised confinements.

Faced with growing case rates, La Rioja said that from today, Friday, its borders would be closed until 7 November, except for essential travel, such as to work or school. Non-essential shops will also close at 9pm.

“We have to take a further step toward the measures, be decisive and act in all the region,” said the La Rioja government.

In Aragón the regional government there announced that the capitals of its three provinces, Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel, would face non-essential travel restrictions.