Spain's prime minister Pedro Sánchez has called on the "individual responsibility" of the general public in Spain to help slow the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
In an institutional address given this Friday, Sánchez mentioned the possibility of a new state of alarm or curfew when a region's situation passes risk levels agreed by regional and central government ministers at a meeting on Thursday. He said, however, that decisions would be made by the regional authorities.
Measures to control the spread of coronavirus will be brought in according to which level, of the four established, is applied to each region. These can range from limiting gatherings to six people to suspending non-essential activities.
The four levels are low risk, medium risk, high risk or extreme risk and several factors will be taken into account when fixing the level for each region.
These include the rate of infection (7-day and 14-day case notification figures per 100,000 inhabitants), the extent of infection among the over-65s, or the percentage occupation of hospital beds, especially those in intensive care units.
"Reduce movement to slow contagion"
Sánchez said that the government's aim is to avoid another total lockdown with residents confined to their homes as they were in March, although "the situation is serious".
"The situation is not comparable to the month of March and we have to do all we can to prevent a repeat of that lockdown. We have to reduce movement and interpersonal contact, that way we will reduce the possibility of contagion," said Sánchez, adding that his government was prepared to adopt the measures it considers necessary.
"We need maximum collaboration from the general public. The coming winter months will be tough," said the prime minister, fixing a target of reaching a Covid infection rate of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
"We must limit gatherings, now is the time to establish distances. We must make sure that with this second wave we can stop the transmission of the virus without halting life."