PEDRO Sanchez is expected to make the final decision today on whether or not to extend the nationwide state of alarm.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has been quick to react to the coronavirus crisis
However the question is not whether or not it will be extended by the prime minister, but by how long and under what conditions. There is no doubt among lawmakers that the state of alarm will be extended for at least another 15 days (until April 26). The debate is whether the strict measures of self-isolation will be loosened for parts of the population and when. That will all depend on how the fight to battle the coronavirus continues, i.e. how quickly Spain begins to flatten the curve. In a press conference yesterday, director of health emergencies Fernando Simon did not rule out ‘relaxing in some places’ the lockdown rules. However he added that although the transmission of COVID-19 seems to be somewhat under control, it is vital to continue being extremely cautious to prevent a second spike. But he added: “It is probably not necessary to be as restrictive as it has been in the past weeks.” Ministers have been sure to not give citizens false hope, warning that any lifting of the lockdown will be done gradually, following in the footsteps of Italy. Authorities there announced on Wednesday that children would be allowed out for a short walk with their parents in the first relaxation of the nationwide lockdown. However head of Italy’s Civil Protection Angelo Borreli warned that the country-wide quarantine would last until at least May 2 and that the gradual opening of businesses and the return of other daily activities could come after May 16.