President Armengol during the videoconference of regional presidents.

22-03-2020

Following his videoconference with regional presidents on Sunday, Prime Minister Sánchez gave a press conference at which he confirmed that the state of emergency will be extended. He gave the date of 11 April.

There is to be greater involvement of the armed forces, who will be involved in helping to transport the sick, in delivering food to the elderly and in supporting critical infrastructure. A service for home deliveries to people in risk groups is to be established. Town halls are to be given additional resources in order to deliver food and medicines to the elderly and the vulnerable, so that they do not have to leave home. A strategic reserve of medical and health supplies for any future epidemics is to be established.

On Spain's capacity for self-sufficiency in terms of medical and health supplies, he stressed that this was "total". "We have the infrastructure to do it and the collaboration of industries."

To stay at home, the prime minister said, is "an act of patriotism and solidarity". "This saves lives. People can't go out every day to the shops, as this puts their lives at risk and the lives of others at risk."

Sánchez hoped that by applying the "very tough measure" (of longer confinement), we will be able to see "a bend in the coronavirus curve" - that the number of people being discharged exceeds the number being admitted. On confinement, he insisted that the government is following the recommendations of health experts. "It is important to defend these measures. They are very tough measures."

He also hoped to have the support of the chamber (Congress) in ratifying the extension to the state of emergency. In the current situation, he said that "there is no room for selfishness" by regional administrations. The coronavirus crisis does not know "territories, ideologies or (political) parties".

On fiscal measures by the European Union, the prime minister observed that the crisis is affecting the whole of the EU. "We will have to articulate a grand Marshall Plan for reconstruction." He defended the issuing of Eurobonds and the creation of an unemployment fund.

There is also a toughening of travel restrictions. For the next 30 days, there will be a denial of entry to Spain through the Schengen borders to people from third countries, i.e. non-EU citizens. This rule exempts residents of the European Union or Schengen associated states who go directly to their place of residence or are holders of a long-term visa issued by a member state or Schengen associated state. The government is stressing that any travel from Spain should be for absolutely essential reasons.

The rules do not apply to the borders with Andorra or Gibraltar.

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S.O. / Hace 6 months

@Tim Robinson: the correct date is April 11 but really the one day difference is hardly relevant! I don’t believe that this will be the last extension by far. However legally they can only extend the State of Alert 15 days at a time.

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John Parkinson / Hace 6 months

And still the U.K. Government will not learn from other countries.No lockdown,disgusting scenes this weekend of people socialising on massive scale because the sun is shinning. Do not open your borders to the UK as no leadership ,no one taking responsibility. Watch the death rate rise drastically in the next two weeks. Most EU leaders realised drastic action needed(late in some cases) but we are the U.K. and refuse to accept we could have taken action earlier.Arrogant is the word!

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Tim Robinson / Hace 6 months

An earlier article says 10 April as end date for extended lockdown. Please clarify.

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