SPAIN’S state of alarm ends on May 9 but scientists believe restrictions will still be needed to protect the public this summer.
For six months the emergency measure has allowed the regional governments powers to introduce health restrictions to control the Covid-19 pandemic – such as night curfews, perimeter lockdowns, and social gathering limits – without being challenged through the courts.
However, experts expect limits on social activity will continue to contain the spread of the disease; depending on the success of vaccination drive and the impact of more contagious Covid mutants.
It is already expected rates will continue to rise across Spain this week and through the following weeks because of the fallout from the Easter holidays but start falling again at the beginning of next month.
“I want to believe that the epidemiological situation will be better then than now,” said lberto Infante, professor of the National Health School at the Carlos III Health Institute.
“If the [vaccination] campaign is boosted, we will be in a better situation. But until we achieve herd immunity, we have to protect the most vulnerable. If we reach May 9 with a significant number of vulnerable people vaccinated, more than 80%, the clinical situation will be better.”
Daniel López-Acuña, a former official for the World Health Organization, believes many of the measures, including the regional perimetral lockdown of regions should continue, along with a curfew until the end of summer – wearing masks and social distancing should remain until the end of the year.
He said pressure on the health authorities might well be reduced in May but added: “The reality is health authorities are trusting too much that the immunization drive can stop the waves.”