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Congress votes to keep ‘state of alarm’ until May 2021

Jack Troughton | October 29, 2020
second state of alarm may

Spain’s Congress of Deputies voted 194 v 53 in favour of a state of alarm until May 2021, with 99 abstentions.

Spain’s second state of alarm – published in the BOE last Sunday – will remain until at least May next year.

Unlike the previous state of alarm (14th March – 20th June), this second state of alarm to fight the COVID-19 pandemic will not be reviewed every two weeks.

Instead, it will be reviewed once in March.

Unlike the first state of alarm also, this does NOT mean full lockdown. The royal decree opens a judicial door for autonomous regions to legally restrict the movement of residents.

For example, it was last Sunday’s publication of the state of alarm that allowed 10 regions to Spain to close their borders this week – read which regions here.

The state of alarm also allowed autonomous communities to implement a curfew – a 23:00 – 06:00 curfew was enshrined in the state of alarm legal text.

The curfew will cease to be mandatory, however, after 9th November.

Autonomous regions will thereafter be free to implement their own restrictions according to health criteria agreed upon in the four-tier system. Read our write-up here.

Congress

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez faced tough criticism today after he walked out the chamber allowing Health Minister Salvador Illa to open the debate.

Leaders of the centre right Partido Popular and progressive Más País argued Sanchez should have led the debate out of ‘respect’.

Meanwhile the leader of the separatist ERC argued the state of alarm should include a package of social and economic aid, lest the anti-government Vox gain political ground among workers in future attacks.

Newspaper headlines across Spain are therefore centring on Spain’s current political instability – rather than the tough measures approved during a time of health crisis.

More to follow…