Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has finally listened to Catalan president Quim Torra, and has announced that tomorrow the Spanish cabinet will approve a two-week full lockdown of Spain because of coronavirus.
The full lockdown means all non-essential activity workers will have to stay at home and will be granted a recoverable paid leave. It will last from March 30th to April 9th. During this period, workers will be paid regularly, and after it ends, they will be able to gradually make up for the hours not worked until December 31st. This means that instead of the Spanish government it will be the companies which will pay for the confinement.
"Following the recommendations of the government’s technical advisory committee […] we have decided to decree an exceptional measure. All workers in non-essential activities, I repeat, all the workers in non-essential activities must remain at home for the next two weeks as they do every weekend.”
Torra has been calling for this measure for a fortnight, as the most useful to combat the coronavirus, reducing personal contacts to a minimum. But until now, Sánchez mantained it was not necessary, and argued that "the most drastic measures in Europe" had already been adopted.
Sánchez indicated that he is taking this measure because we are on the threshold of Holy Week. Today death tolls in Spain reached 5,690 deaths, the second highest in the world after Italy.