- Unlike the other requests, this time the Executive is not guaranteed opposition support
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced ton Saturday that he will request a fourth extension of the state of alarm from the Congress of Deputies. It will be put to Congress on Wednesday morning, and, if approved, will keep the lockdown in place until May 25.
The Council of Ministers, which will officially approve the request on Tuesday, believes this measure is necessary so that the country can return to the “new normal” as soon as possible.
Sánchez said that “the state of alarm has worked and it is still necessary.” According to the Prime Minister, “it would be irresponsible to do anything other than maintain it.”
Unlike the previous requests, however, on this occasion there is no guarantee that the government will achieve the necessary support to carry out the extension.
Its ERC and PNV partners are not in favour of the extension and the PP, which has supported them all so far, has doubts of its own. Most opposition groups continue to criticise the Prime Minister for his attitude and the manner in which he makes decisions. Today Sanchez said that he wanted to answer those criticisms stating that “There is no plan B” for approval.
It has been said that the Government intends to extend the state of alarm until June in order maintain confinement and also the established sanctions table for those who skip it.
The Government welcomes the fact that “the descent of the curve has now been established.” According to Sánchez, it is because “we are reaping the fruits of confinement.” On Monday, according to the Executive’s plans, the de-escalation will begin to introduce its phased de escalation which, the Prime Minister warns, will be “little by little.”
Next week the whole country will go to phase zero, with the exception of the islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Graciosa (Canary Islands) and Formentera (Balearic Islands) that will go directly to phase one.
As of May 11, the vast majority of provinces will then move to phase one which allows greater mobility although both Madrid and Barcelona, the two provinces most affected by the pandemic, might not be included in the move.
The Government’s will is for each phase to last two weeks with the entire country arriving at stage four by the end of June, until which time there will be no return to the “new normal”.
The Prime Minister went on to announce that the use of face masks on any public transport system will be mandatory from Monday. For this, the State is going to distribute six million masks in all main transport hubs.
The masks will be mandatory for those who have to take a bus, a train or the Metro.