Court Lifts Stay-at-Home order for Spanish Region after Angry Protests

The regional court in Lleida has overturned the lockdown order imposed by the Catalan authorities last week after repeated angry protests by residents in the area.

THE Catalan government’s decree to re-impose the lockdown in the town of Lleida and seven surrounding municipalities amid a sharp rise in coronavirus infections has been lifted after a court ruled against the home confinement order put in place on Monday.

The regional court in Lleida, in Western Catalonia, accused Catalan authorities of overstepping its powers and stated that only the Spanish government can issue a stay-at-home order by triggering the State of Alarm like it did on March 14.

After a 12 week lockdown the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez said the coronavirus pandemic had been “defeated” and announced “a new normality,” but a string of new outbreaks and growing infections have raised renewed health concerns.

On Sunday, Catalonia reported 816 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily rise since May 19. Over the past weeks, the Catalan government has ordered a series of measures aimed at fighting the spread of infections, such as the compulsory use of face masks and the partial lockdown of Lleida and the Segrià county.

Crowds in Lleida responded by taking to the streets to protest, demanding the president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, and the mayor of the city, Miquel Pueyo, step down. image credit: Twitter

A week after limiting freedom of movement between the Segrià county and the rest of Catalonia, the government took safety measures a step further by demanding people to stay at their homes unless absolutely necessary.

SPAIN’S CATALONIA region had locked down an area with around 200,000 residents following a surge in cases of the new coronavirus. Catalonia’s regional president Quim Torra told reporters there had been a “sharp rise” in infections in Segria, a zone that includes the town of Lleida some 150 kilometres west of Barcelona.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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