Spain to be under lockdown from Monday

coronavirus man with mask madrid
A man, wearing a protective mask, walks through an empty street due to the coronavirus outbreak in central Madrid, Spain, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The Spanish government plans to put the country’s 47 million inhabitants under lockdown from Monday as part of a 15-day state of emergency plan to combat the coronavirus, a draft of an official decree seen by Reuters showed.

The government will say all Spaniards must stay home except to buy food, go to the pharmacy, to the hospital, or to work or for other emergencies, the draft showed.

All public transport will be curtailed, the draft showed, with airline, train, bus and boat operators told they need to cut their services by at least half and that any plane, train, bus or other means of transport can only be a third full.

The draft decree does not, however, foresee closing the country’s borders.

The draft says the lockdown will enter into force on Monday at 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) while all other measures will enter into force as soon as the decree is published in the official journal.

The cabinet meeting due to adopt the decree was still taking place, and some measures could still change. The government did not comment on the details of the leaks, also reported in Spanish media, but said only the final version will be valid.

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