Spain, France impose tough measures | Daily News


Spain, France impose tough measures

Spain has followed Italy and imposed a near-total nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus by banning people from leaving home except to go to work, get medical care or buy food.

Spain on Sunday banned people from leaving home except to go to work or buy essential supplies, in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the restrictions on movement following a huge spike in the number of cases with over 5,700 people infected in this nation of some 46 million people.

“The prohibition to circulate in the streets... must be followed starting today,” he said in a televised address after a cabinet meeting that lasted more than seven hours.

Spaniards may leave home to go to work, “buy bread”, go to the pharmacy and get medical care but “not to go have dinner at a friend’s house”, he added.

Police would ensure the restrictions on people’s movements are obeyed, the prime minister said.

“The measures which we have adopted are drastic and will unfortunately have consequences... but our hand will not shake to prevail against the virus,” Sanchez added.“We will win this battle... but it is important that the price we pay for this victory be as little as possible.”

All stores except for pharmacies and supermarkets will close nationwide, the premier said.

Sanchez’ wife, Begona Gomez, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday, his office said Saturday, just hours after he announced a near-total lockdown nationwide.

Both Ms Gomez and her husband were well, and were at their official residence following the new measures introduced by the health authorities, said a government statement.

The French government has ordered the closing of cafes, restaurants and cinemas as authorities around the world took increasingly desperate measures to contain the coronavirus.

“I have decided on the closure until further notice from midnight of places that receive the public that are non-essential to the life of the country,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters.Shops would also have to close with the exception of essential services like supermarkets and pharmacies, he added.

Public transport would continue to work, but Mr Philippe urged the French to “limit their movements” and avoid inter-city travel.

But he insisted that despite the strict new rules, the first round of local elections would go ahead as planned on Sunday while “respecting strictly the guidelines of distancing”.

“I know the French will show their calm, their civic mentality and their ability to obey the rules we have set out for their own security,” Mr Philippe said. (SBS).

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