With an escalation in the number of infections that has been worrying for days, the Basque Government has just decided to impose more restrictions in the Basque Country. The main one, the perimeter closure of all Basque municipalities, a measure that, until now, only affected those that exceeded 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last two weeks. It is also true that today the whole of the autonomous community has exceeded this incidence rate. On the other hand, social gatherings of a maximum of six people are also limited to only four.
The Basque Department of Health had already asked the Ministry to take these measures on Wednesday. But he also included another on his list: closing shops and all kinds of activities at seven in the afternoon. The Basque Government is competent for all of them. Not so to advance the curfew to eight o’clock in the afternoon, something that Minister Salvador Illa had also been unsuccessfully required to do. Although initially the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, had indicated that he would “try to make his proposals effective” with the “tools” at his disposal given the “extreme gravity” of the situation, yesterday the Lakua Executive took a step back in referring to the ‘blackout’ at 7:00 p.m. Officially, because it would be a measure that would be linked to the curfew at 8:00 p.m., which it cannot carry out. But we must also consider that all this is part of the more or less evident struggle between the communities and the Ministry to avoid being ‘the bad guy in the movie’.
Be that as it may, the new restrictions have been taken up at the LABI Advisory Council meeting, which met this morning. In principle, the meeting was called for next Wednesday, but the sensitivity of the situation led the Lehendakari to advance it to today. It is clear that the Executive would have liked to contain social relations even more (the advance of the curfew is the clearest example) but it has remained in the aforementioned perimeter closure of all municipalities and the reduction from six to four people in the social gatherings.