Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday. | Jose Maria Cuadrado Jimenez

Prime Minister Sánchez said on Tuesday that regional governments will be able to request an "individualised" state of alarm in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The regional governments will "have this tool at their disposal", he stated. He and regional presidents would present proposals for this measure to Congress. Sánchez added that the political parties which support the government would vote in favour and that he was convinced that requests would succeed.

The prime minister stressed that talk of a state of alarm on a regional basis "is not talk about confinement". There are, he noted, different levels, as was the case during the phases of de-escalation. The regional requests, he added, could be for the whole of a region or just parts of a region.

Asked about the possibility of there being a generalised confinement (lockdown), Sánchez defended the roles of the regional governments and said that they "are doing well and are counting on the full support of the Spanish government". He referred to the 16,000 million euros of government funds for the regions and to the use of some 2,000 members of the armed forces in helping with track and trace at a regional level. This number may be increased.

The prime minister pointed to the use of digital means for tracing contacts and noted that the Radar Covid app is already operational in seven regions (one of these being the Balearics). A 20% implementation of the app could help reduce the pandemic by 30%; "digital media save lives and all citizens should download the app".

On the return to school, Sánchez said that this must go ahead as planned. The national and regional governments are together making schools safe from Covid. They will be "much safer than any playground can be".

Sánchez admitted that the "evolution of the pandemic should concern us". He therefore asked for the full collaboration of members of the public and urged them to follow the instructions issued by regional governments and health authorities. The prime minister emphasised that citizens should not get "carried away by fear". "We have bent the curve before and we will do so again."