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Spain’s Catalonia Region to Impose ‘Very Restrictive’ Curfew Despite Protests from Public Prosecutor

  Spain’s Catalonia region is to impose a “very restrictive” curfew in an attempt to reduce coronavirus cases, despite protests from the pub...

 Spain’s Catalonia region is to impose a “very restrictive” curfew in an attempt to reduce coronavirus cases, despite protests from the public prosecutor.

A curfew is to be imposed in Catalonia, which has a strong independence movement and a broad degree of autonomy from Spain’s central government in Madrid, from Thursday evening, with the aim of curbing the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

This is despite protests from the Catalan public prosecutor that not enough evidence has been given to justify the draconian restrictions.

The news comes after a Spanish government announcement that mask-wearing would become compulsory outdoors across the entire country, despite many medical experts believing the measure to be largely ineffective.

Initially announced on Monday, the curfew was approved on Thursday by Catalonia’s High Court, according to a report by CatalanNews.

This is despite the region’s public prosecutor protesting that the measures limit fundamental freedoms in a way that was not justified.

A report from the prosecutor said that the measures passed by the High Court are “severe, extensive, very restrictive, intense and generalized that have not been duly motivated, nor are they suitable, nor necessary for the intended purposes”.

The new curfew rules will affect parts of Catalonia with over 10,000 residents and a COVID-19 incidence rate of 250 per 100,000 residents — which is reportedly most of the region.

Those living in affected municipalities will be forbidden from leaving their homes between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Other restrictions include a limit to the capacity to the likes of restaurants and cultural venues, as well as to both religious and non-religious events.

A ban on gatherings of more than ten people will also be put in place.

While the new rules regarding the curfew are expected to affect a total of 125 municipalities in Catalonia, a new Spanish government mandate forcing the wearing of masks outdoors will affect the entire country.

Regarding the new restriction, Spain’s socialist prime minister said that mask-wearing was “fundamental to prevent[ing] infections”, and that it was important ” to put into place the obligatory use of masks” outdoors.

However, a number of medical experts have slammed the decision, saying that the move is more “cosmetic” than functional, and that measure is a “superficial operation”.

“If I am alone on the street or two meters away from someone else am I going to get infected? No. Can masks in the street help to reduce infections? Yes, but not at a sufficient level to justify the measure,” one expert said. “Anyone who says that it is easier for people because that way you are always wearing it is treating citizens like they were children.”

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