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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks on March 25.  Mariscal/EFE/AFP via Getty Images

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that the country’s state of alarm, which demands strict limits on people’s movements and continues the closure of schools and most businesses, will continue for a further two weeks, until April 26.

“We are facing the great crisis of our lives,” Sanchez said in a nationwide address.

The state of alarm had already been extended until April 11. The government will ask the Spanish parliament to approve the extension on Tuesday.

Sanchez added: “Weeks of strict restrictions await us. We ask families to stay at home. To young people, to continue to study, to maintain momentum. To the elderly, to protect yourselves.” 

He said that he understood how difficult it is for the nation to continue isolating at home for a further two weeks.

“These days test our serenity. They are frenetic days. They make us anxious for our friends and family. They are the most difficult days of our life,” Sanchez added.

Sanchez also said that the government was preparing a plan for the eventual resumption of economic and social activity, once the curve of the coronavirus pandemic flattened.

“Once the curve clearly descends, a new scenario will open, a second stage, the progressive return to a new social normality and to a reconstruction of our economy and the social impact it is having in the form of job losses,” Sanchez said. “In reconstruction we will have to protect the most vulnerable. In this emergency, no one will be left behind. Our strength will come from the union between business, administration and the different regions.” 

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