Spain imposing curfew amid surge in coronavirus cases

Spain imposing curfew amid surge in coronavirus cases
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An overnight curfew will be imposed in Spain in light of rising coronavirus cases beginning on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that the order restricts free movement on the streets from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., with exceptions made for commuters and those buying medicine or caring for family members. The restrictions are expected to last for the next six months.

Regional Spanish leaders will be able to choose when curfews begin and end, however, with the flexibility to begin it between 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. and end it from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Authorities are hoping to avoid another complete shutdown like the one ordered in March. Health officials have also begun targeting night clubs and parties believed to be the primary source of new infections.

“There is no home confinement in this state of emergency, but the more we stay at home, the safer we will be. Everyone knows what they have to do,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said.

The Canary Islands will not be affected by the new curfew, however, as data indicates the small group of islands is making positive progress in their number coronavirus cases. They were recently taken off Britain and Germany's list of unsafe travel destinations.

The Spanish curfew reflects similar actions taken by other European countries as they try to stymie an impending second wave of COVID-19 cases. A few weeks ago, France instated curfews on nine major cities, affecting up to a third of the French population. Italy announced new measures last week that allow Italian mayors to enforce 9 p.m. curfews on public squares and penalties for facilities that fail to follow guidelines.