On May 9, the second state of alarm will be put to an end (fourth, if the extensions are taken into account), or that is the Government’s objective. The president of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez, announced this Tuesday that the intention is not to extend the state of alarm, declared in Spain to control the transmission of the virus, once it expires. “It is our objective and for that we work,” he stated at a press conference at the Palacio de la Moncloa at the end of the Council of Ministers.
Thus, measures – such as restrictions on mobility, night lockdowns or perimeter closures – would cease to take effect contained in Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, with which the current state of alarm was declared.
Thus, the autonomous communities would have powers, within the Interterritorial Health Council, just as it happened during the “new normal” period in summer, when the first state of alarm declared on March 14 ended.
It could be said that it was a frustrated attempt, because after a few months -in October- the alarm was declared again in the country, in the face of an epidemiological situation that plunged Spain into a devastating second wave of coronavirus. A month later, the Council of Ministers approved a six-month extension that, predictably, will end definitively at 00:00 on May 9, with the hopes placed on the vaccination plan. Now, what could suppose that the state of alarm is not extended? What measures will be revoked? And who will be responsible for adopting them?
Who will make the decisions if the state of alarm subsides?
Once the state of alarm subsides, the measures will no longer be adopted based on the provisions of the Royal Decree Law (and, therefore, the direct criteria of the Government), but will be the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) -in which the Ministry of Health and the councilors of the autonomous communities participate- the body in charge of applying the restrictions it deems necessary to address the epidemiological situation.
In Sánchez’s opinion, the co-governance system applied in recent months has been effective in the face of the different waves of coronavirus. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear whether such a coordinating body will be able to restrict mobility -a measure that affects fundamental rights- if the evolution of the pandemic requires it.
What measures would decline?
They will cease to be in force, automatically, mandatory measures that were established in the current state of alarm, and that fundamentally affect mobility, leisure, and night activity:
Curfew: the “limitation of the freedom of movement of people at night” would decline, between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am (which some communities have been expanding as necessary), which is in force throughout the personal territory, with exceptions.Perimeter confines: The limitation of entry and exit of the autonomous communities, which now restricts movement between territories, with the exception of duly justified cases, would also cease to be in force.
Limitation in meetings: The current limitation to social and family gatherings in public and private spaces would be lifted, which is for a maximum of six people who do not live together (there are communities that have come to reduce this limit and even prohibit meetings).