The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said this evening that it was time to take “difficult but necessary decisions” to contain the coronavirus pandemic because the disease is spreading “too fast” and the situation “requires a more drastic response”. The head of the executive announced that a decision had been made to extend the lockdown measures taken yesterday in the municipalities of Conca d’Òdena, particularly the city of Igualada, to “Catalonia as a whole”. He said the objective was to restrict mobility and keep people from entering or leaving Catalonia. “We believe it’s time to take a step forward with a socially responsible lockdown – to protect ourselves and to protect people in neighbouring regions.” President Torra said he had requested that the Spanish government support the lockdown by stopping people from entering and leaving Catalonia via ports, airports and rail lines. The president said the assistance of the central government was required because it has authority over this transport infrastructure.
President Torra said he was awaiting a reply from the Spanish executive “to be able to implement the lockdown of Catalonia as a whole as soon as possible”. Torra called on all citizens to avoid making trips or engaging in any activities that are not “absolutely essential”. He also thanked the public “for the effort they’re making, for their understanding, and for their enormous solidarity” and praised the “tireless and generous work” of security, emergency and health workers. “You make us all feel proud,” he said.
During his appearance, the head of the executive said he had spoken to PM Sánchez by phone this afternoon and that they had agreed to postpone the next meeting of the negotiating table between the two executives in light of the current circumstances.