Reduce movement, limit socialisation to avoid lockdown – Spain’s PM

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Measures to reduce mobility and limit socialising are needed to curb the spread of coronavirus in Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday, adding that he wanted to avoid a return to a nationwide lockdown.

Meanwhile, two Spanish regions, Castilla and Leon and Valencia, urged the central government on Friday to impose night-time curfews quickly to stem the coronavirus spread after authorities failed to reach a decision on such restrictions on Thursday.

The regions have a high degree of autonomy and are largely responsible for responding to the pandemic but restrictions on freedom of movement, like curfews, require the intervention of the national government.

With COVID-19 cases soaring this week to total over a million, the highest tally in Western Europe, the central government favours curfews. But it postponed a decision after the regions of Madrid and the Basque country opposed such a move on Thursday.

“We want this to happen today if possible, rather than tomorrow,” said Alfonso Fernandez Manueco, the regional leader of Castilla and Leon.

“The virus doesn’t understand administrative boundaries or different political stripes,” he told a joint news conference with Health Minister Salvador Illa.

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