The regional government of Andalacia has implemented a lockdown effecting over 5 million inhabitants to combat the COVID-19 surge as cases continue to rise to levels seen in March.
The new measures will take effect in the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia starting at the stroke of midnight tonight (Monday) and last until November 23rd.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), there are nearly 8, 400,000 people living in the Andalusian region according to a study in 2020.
The restrictions were announced by the Regional Government of Andalusia President Juanma Moreno in a public announcement yesterday (Sunday).
Citizens will have to abide by a curfew, having to remain home between 10 in the evening to seven in the morning.
Schools for children will be allowed to function but universities will have to turn to online classes with the exception of lab practices or experimentations that have to be done in person.
Further restrictions will not allow people to travel between municipalities without a “justified cause” and all non-essential businesses must close at six in the afternoon.
The municipality with the most strict measures will be Granada where all non-essential business will remain closed permanently until the number of cases goes down.
The measures are expected to last for at least two weeks when the regional government will decide how to move forward depending on the numbers on Monday 23 November.
Moreno said: ”It is a difficult and tough decision but it must be applied to try and avoid the collapse of the health services and to recommend people from Granada to only go out for things that are strictly necessary.”
There are 3,151 people hospitalised for the virus in the autonomous community, 1,114 of them from Granada alone. Of those people hospitalised in Andalusia, 455 of them are in ICUs, according to an official report by the Andalusian government on Sunday 8th November.
According to the Spanish press, the figures are worrisome as the number of ICU patients has surpassed the ones registered in the pandemic’s previous peak on 30 March.
According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, so far, Spain has reported 1,328,832 cases leading to 38,833 deaths.