The final word on coronavirus restrictions. | M.A. CAÑELLAS

The Socialist Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has suffered a humiliating drubbing this week in the Madrid elections and may yet have to pay the consequences for a resounding far right victory, and now he is under fire for “washing his hands of the health crisis”, according to the opposition Partido Popular.

As of midnight tomorrow, when the State of Alarm is officially lifted by central government, managing the fight against Covid and the pandemic will be handed over to regional authorities and the judiciary - something the latter is neither happy about.

In a bid to ease these fears of a breakdown in control, the Spanish government has approved a royal decree that gives the Supreme Court the final word on coronavirus restrictions.

In other words, regions can restrict fundamental rights to curb the coronavirus pandemic without a state of alarm if they have the backing of the courts.

But, one senior judge has said that “judges are not here to govern, these decisions correspond to public authorities.” Nearly all Spanish regions want restrictions to remain in place because the vaccination rate is still very poor and case numbers are still too high for a blanket lifting of measures.

The Balearics has managed to secure legal approval for an extension, but for how long? Sanchez should have maintained control for the health of the country.