Spain put its 47 million inhabitants under partial lockdown on Saturday as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus epidemic in Europe’s second worst-affected country by COVID-19 after Italy. Effective immediately, all Spaniards must stay at home except to buy food, get medicines, go to work or to the hospital or for emergencies.
Bars, restaurants, and shops selling anything but food and other staples must shut down. All leisure and sports activities also have to close, including cinemas, theaters, swimming pools or football grounds.
Spain’s Interior Ministry will control all police forces, including local and regional ones, under the 15-day emergency, and the armed forces would be on stand-by to help if needed.
The health and transport ministries would have nationwide reach, taking over some local or regional powers. Spain had 193 coronavirus deaths and 6,250 cases as of Saturday.