Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has toughened the country’s lockdown restrictions by announcing this evening that “all non-essential workers” must remain at home from Monday March 30 until April 9, in an additional push to halt the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
All workers that don’t work in ‘essential’ services or activities must now also remain in isolation for the next 15 days. He stated that jobs of these employees would be guaranteed after the lockdown, and that workers would continue to receive salaries.
Essential services would be limited to the supermarket, food/agricultural sector, health/medical professions, armed/security forces, as well as communications. However those working in construction or manufacturing firms not related to medical, food or ‘essential’ services, must now remain home for the duration of the lockdown. More details on exactly which sectors will be affected, and how employees/businesses will be compensated will be thrashed out in parliament, where the measures will be officially ratified tomorrow.
This additional restriction, he said, was necessary to halt further transmission of the disease. “I’m conscious of the sacrifice that everyone is making, but this move will help us to further reduce the number of infections, and help to alleviate the increasing pressure on the country’s hospitals and intensive care units, which are at breaking point,” stated Sanchez.
The additional restriction follows the continuing surge in the number of people becoming infected with Covid-19, which now exceeds 72,248, and more than 4,575 patients receiving intensive care treatment. The country also mourns 832 people who died from the disease in the last 24 hours alone – totalling 5,704 deaths to date.
Sanchez added that Spain will suffer “sadder” and more “bitter” moments next week, “but we mustn’t let our guard down, and do whatever it takes to combat the coronavirus”.