Spain declared a state of emergency and ordered a nationwide curfew to begin on Sunday after Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez warned that the country was facing an increasingly dire situation. The curfew will limit movement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in the Canary Islands, where there are fewer new cases.
“The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic,” Mr. Sánchez said after a meeting of cabinet officials on Sunday.
The new emergency powers, which will last for 15 days, also mean regional officials can impose harsher restrictions on movement between areas and limit gatherings to six people. But Mr. Sánchez added that he would ask Parliament to approve an extension for the state of emergency until May.
When the outbreak first began peaking in March, Spain invoked emergency powers to enact one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. That lockdown was lifted in June, but as cases spiked after the country reopened over the summer, officials reinstated a partial lockdown in swaths of the country, including the capital of Madrid.
Spain became the first Western European country to surpass one million cases this week, though Mr. Sánchez has said the number of cases may be as high as three million people. As of Sunday morning, according to a Times database, 34,752 people had died.
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