Travel plan blow
Brits’ holiday setback as Spain in second lockdown
Barcelona is close to the new lockdown area
A second region in Spain has been forced back into lockdown, adding to fears that the country is seeing a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
The authorities in Galacia have ringfenced more than 70,000 people in the second local lockdown ordered in as many days.
The detection of more than 250 cases in the north-western region, nearly half of them in the province of Lugo, has prompted a new lockdown until Friday, which includes a ban on people leaving or entering the coastal community of A Marina except for work.
It comes after more than 200,000 people in northeast Spain were put back into an enforced quarantine following several new outbreaks of coronavirus.
Residents in the Catalonian county of Segria, an agricultural area west of Barcelona, have been told not to leave or enter the area which includes the city of Lleida.
They will not be confined to their homes, as was the case in Spain’s original strict lockdown.
On 21 June, the State of Emergency declared in Spain on 14 March came to an end and the country has been reopening its borders to other EU states, as well as the UK, in anticipation of summer holiday traffic.
However, the Spanish region of Aragon, which borders Lleida, re-imposed restrictions on several areas last month after an outbreak among fruit pickers in its Huesca province.
Catalan regional president Quim Torra told a news briefing: “We have decided to confine Segria due to data that confirms too significant a growth in the number of COVID-19 infections.”
Regional health ministry data showed there were 3,706 cases in the Lleida region on Friday, compared to 3,551 the previous day.
Spain has registered 205,545 coronavirus cases and 28,385 deaths, making it one of the worst affected countries in Europe.
More than 18 million British tourists visited Spain in 2019 – a fifth of the country’s overall total of nearly 84 million visitors.
The UK government has announced that restrictions on non-essential travel will be relaxed from 10 July, alongside the ditching of compulsory quarantine for inbound travellers, for 59 countries deemed low-risk, including Spain.
Budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have announced plans to resume flights.
Meanwhile, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and theme parks have reopened today with strict social distancing rules.
But ministers have urged caution and England’s chief medical officer said the latest step was not “risk-free”.
In Scotland, beer gardens and outdoor restaurants will be allowed to reopen from 6 July, and indoor areas can be used from 15 July.