Updated: Oct 25, 2020
UPDATED Sunday 25th October 2020: Pedro Sanchéz has announced a new State of Alarm for the entire country which will come into force immediately. From tonight (Sunday 25th October 2020) a nationwide curfew will be in place between the hours of 23.00 and 06:00. Powers have been made available to the regional authorities to implement a further curfew between 22:00 and 07:00 if they believe it is required.
The Prime Minister went further than predicted in declaring his intention to maintain this State of Alarm in place until the 9th of May 2021.
Sanchéz insists he has not announced a curfew
He describes it as a "restriction of night-time movement".
"IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A CURFEW" he insists.
a regulation requiring people to remain indoors between specified hours, typically at night.
Implications for Aragón
As of tomorrow, Aragón is under Level 3 restrictions which will require Bars and Restaurants to close at 22.00 and only permitted to serve customers sat on the terraza. No customers are permitted indoors. So while the national curfew comes into force as of 23.00, effectively Aragón will be "closed" for business from 22:00.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchéz convened a Council of Ministers for 10 am Sunday 25th October to declare a State of Alarm. The move comes as the nine autonomous regions calling for the measure had grown to eleven over the course of Saturday.
The Basque Country, Catalonia, Cantabria, Asturias, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Melilla have all requested a State of Alarm to provide the legal context required to enforce the measures they wish to employ to limit the spread of the virus. No autonomous region under Partido Popular control has requested a State of Alarm but Castilla y León and Madrid have evoked what are being referred to as covert curfews.
The Government does not need a vote in Congress to enact a State of Alarm but will need a vote in favour to extend beyond an initial 15 days. This would explain the reason for Health Minister Salvador Illa making a clear appeal to the Partido Popular to support such a vote to enable curfew measures to be maintained. This does strongly suggest the plan for the impending State of Alarm is to be in place for more than two weeks. The Ciudanos party has already pledged support but without the Partido Popular the government will lack an overall majority in the Congress.
The legal protection will enable Autonomous regional governments further powers to enact more restrictive measures in the regions. These powers include the power to put a curfew in place.
Further exceptional measures include a power to limit or restrict meetings in private households or mixing households. Powers would be available to restrict movement to a specific distance from home. Such measures could also include the mandate closure of gyms, sports and cultural venues or any venue that could be considered a hazard. A State of Alarm would mean such decisions could not be challenged through court action.
As we are all too aware, a State of Alarm also permits a nationwide lockdown if health services are pushed to the limit.
One area of confusion that people are waiting for information is whether walking fo dogs would be permitted during curfew hours.
Aragón has not expressed an intention to utilise powers to impose a local curfew but the local government under Javier Lambán has made it clear that it will accept any decisions the national government take.
Curfews have been implemented in Belgium, France, Italy and Greece, but reactions have been mixed. Naples in Italy has seen protestors clash with the Police. Many other countries have restrictions which close bars and restaurants early. Meanwhile, Portugal, the Scandanavian countries, Austria and large number of the countries in eastern Europe have no restrictions in place at all.