Spain Constitutional Court rules coronavirus state of alarm was unconstitutional

(Update 1: releads with Constitutional Court ruling)

Madrid, Jul 13 (EFE).- Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the state of alarm imposed in Spain from March 2020 to June 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19 was unconstitutional.

Six out of 11 judges voted in favor that the legal framework under which the lockdown – that confined Spaniards to their homes apart from for essential activity such as buying food or going to the pharmacy – was adopted was unconstitutional.

The magistrates said that a state of emergency, which allows the suspension of fundamental rights such as right to movement, would have been necessary in order for the government to suspend these basic rights.

The court ruling said the state of alarm imposed on March 16 after a spike in coronavirus cases across Spain not only limited fundamental rights but suspended them, which results as unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Court agreed the ruling, that annuls the lockdown, would not involve liabilities for the government nor allow lawsuits from businesses or private citizens who suffered economic loss due to the state of alarm.

It did however agree on the possibility for people to reclaim their money after paying fines for breaking rules imposed under the state of alarm.

The Covid-19 infection rate in Spain has soared to 436 cases for every 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, with young people particularly affected by a threefold increase compared to the previous fortnight.

Some 43,960 infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry, which also stated that Covid-19 patients occupy 8.51% of intensive care unit beds.

Specifically in the northeastern Catalonia region, people with Covid-19 make up 20% of ICU patients, well above the national average.

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