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Canary Islands will appeal to Supreme Court against curfew high-court refusal

Canary Islands will appeal to Supreme Court against curfew high-court refusal

The Government of the Canary Islands will appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court opposing the conclusions presented by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands this morning, blocking the regional government from imposing curfews from 12:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on islands at Health Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Canary Islands’ Minister for Health, Blas Trujillo, said this Wednesday that by the Superior Court of Justice (TSJC) refusing to authorise a curfew on islands at Levels 3 and 4 “they take away our most powerful tool, along with vaccination, to deal with infections”.

Trujillo reacted to the resolution of the Chamber of Administrative Litigation of the TSJC while speaking in the Parliament of the Canary Islands, and before the plenary session he described the decision as a “setback”, a decision that, he has confessed, leaves him “in a slightly complex emotional situation”.

“The limitation of mobility is the most important thing” to stop contagions, said Trujillo, and commented that in this regard there have been “different legal opinions”, so that “in some autonomous communities it is allowed and in others it is not.”

The Minister for Health has also said that vaccination “is going very well” saying that if the rate of vaccines arriving is maintained, the goal of immunising 70% of the target population will be reached “during the summer”, specifically around the last week of July, as president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, had announced weeks ago.

Following opposition criticism received from the CC-PNC and PP parties, Trujillo has urged all political forces to remain united and aware of the pandemic, because “this will continue”, the situation is “extremely complicated” in the Canary Islands, in Spain and elsewhere, saying that it is not only society that is exhausted, but also health services.

Trujillo spoke of the data on infections in the Canary Islands over recent weeks, now with a record incidence, since the pandemic began, triggered among those under 40 years of age, although with fewer hospitalisations, but he cautioned, they are increasing.

The Minister said that it is not necessary to “demonise” any particular age group, but it is necessary to be “demanding” with the youngest: this is the population group with the most mobility and social life, the most difficult to track and who collaborate least with the system, he said.

The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has affirmed in Parliament that although he respects the judicial decision, he does not share the court’s opinion and has alluded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office having backed the proposed measures with “very strong” arguments.

In addition, Torres indicated that this judicial decision was taken on the day on which the highest number of infections has been registered in the Canary Islands since the beginning of the pandemic, with a continuing surge in cases reported over the last 24 hours.

Maximum citizen responsibility

The President pointed out that the closure of the interiors of bars and restaurants, which was also not endorsed by the TSJC, has been applied and its effectiveness has been demonstrated to work in other regions and countries. “These measures have worked on islands that have risen to levels 3 and 4, but, in this fifth wave and after losing these types of tools, we are observing an increase in infections every day. It is true that [numbers are higher] in other communities, but we cannot stop this curve and, therefore, even less bend it. The TSJC leaves us with one less instrument to reduce contagion and, in the absence of that resource, we have to appeal to individual and collective citizen responsibility, as we have done previously during this stage of the pandemic”.

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