Coronavirus: Spain to extend state of alarm for another 15 days

The president of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has told the regional presidents that he will extend the state of alarm until April 13 due to coronavirus crisis.

El presidente del Gobierno, Pedro Sánchez, durante la videoconferencia para tratar la crisis del coronavirus con los presidentes autonómicos, en Madrid (España), a 15 de marzo de 2020.

Spain will extend their state of alarm for another 15 days on Tuesday. Pedro Sánchez, the president of the Spanish government, has told the presidents of the various regions of the country of his intention to extend the state of alarm as bars, restaurants and shops remain closed. On Sunday morning during a telephone conference call, he said the current state of alarm that was set to end on 29 March would be extended into the middle of April.

The state of alarm called on 14 March limited Spanish people's traveling and limited the places and reasons for Spanish people to leave their homes with police officers fining those who flout the rules. According to article 116 of the constitution, 15 days is the maximum amount of time allowed by the ministry of advisers for a state of alarm. In order to prolong it, they will have to meet on Tuesday 24 in order to ratify another 15 days due to the current crisis.

This handout picture made available by Madrid's regional government, Comunidad de Madrid, shows a general view of the temporary hospital set up at a pavilion in Ifema convention and exhibition center in Madrid.

Spain need more time to fight coronavirus

It does not come as shocking news as the minister for transport, José Luis Ábalos, said that an extension of the current state of alarm would be necessary given the evolution of the virus. "I don't think that in 15 days we will be able to win this battle," he said. The extension will keep Spain on lock-down until 13 April.

The government were sure from the start that the state of alarm would have to remain in place until Easter, which sees millions of Spanish people travel around the country for holidays and to visit family. Sánchez needs the votes in congress but that should not be a problem. PP - Partido Popular -- and Ciudadanos have let it be known that they will vote in favour of the measure along with PSOE and Podemos' coalition government.

A team of researchers in Valencia have studied the virus and say it has mutated from its original state. Work is ongoing in an effort to fight it but uncertainty still reigns in Spain and Madrid and other cities remain empty.