Spain has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew in an effort to help control a new spike in Covid-19 infections.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the curfew, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., would come into force on Sunday, the BBC reported.
Under the emergency measures, local authorities can also ban travel between regions, Sanchez said.
He said he would ask parliament to extend the new rules, initially in force for 15 days, to six months.
Spain was hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year and imposed a much more restrictive lockdown – one of the toughest in the world.
Like many other European regions, however, it has been hit by a second wave of infections.
In Italy, new restrictions were also announced on Sunday. The government said the steady rise in cases there was causing a huge strain on the country’s health services.
Sanchez said different regions would have up to an hour of flexibility if they wanted to modify the duration of the overnight curfew.
He said restrictions on movement between districts would be determined by regional leaders and was likely to be dependent on work and medical needs.
The new measures announced include a limit on public and private gatherings of different households to a maximum of six people.
“The situation we are going through is extreme,” Sanchez said in a televised address on Sunday, adding: “It is the most serious in the past half century”.