Spain Imposes Nationwide Lockdown Over Coronavirus Crisis

A day after a state of emergency was declared in Spain, government officials have imposed restrictive measures on the country.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed that Spain will be imposing a nationwide lockdown in a bid to fight the coronavirus.

The development came as flights enroute to Spain from the UK were forced to turn back mid-air on Saturday due to the crisis. 

RT reports: It prevents citizens from leaving their homes except to buy food and medicine and for work or emergencies.

The government announced the new measures at a news conference on Saturday and they are set to come into effect on Monday morning. 

The measures, which Sanchez called “extraordinary” and “drastic” will last for 15 days as part of the state of emergency and may be extended further with a decision from the Spanish Congress of Deputies. Sanchez acknowledged that the lockdown will have a severe impact on the Spanish economy.

People will still be allowed to use private vehicles but only to carry out the permitted activities or to refuel at service stations.

The battery of measures effectively means all restaurants, bars, hotels, non-essential retail outlets and education centers will be shut nationwide. The country earlier closed all beaches to prevent mass gatherings of people. 

Public transport will also be curtailed however the country has not closed its borders.

Spain’s Interior Ministry will control all police forces, including local and regional ones, as part of the state of emergency. Authorities have been granted the power to carry out searches and “checks on people, goods, vehicles, premises and establishments that are necessary.”