Spain tightens COVID-19 restrictions after new outbreaks
Spain is reintroducing some pandemic restrictions one month after the country lifted strict lockdown measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The country was one of the hardest hit in the world by the coronavirus crisis earlier this year, and effectively locked down businesses and workers.
Since then, it had been emerging from the crisis, but the country’s health minister earlier this week said there were 224 new local outbreaks and 2,622 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, according to reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times.
The troubles Spain are going through could be a marker for the U.S., which is dealing with surging cases in some parts of the country. It shows that even after a country locks down, case numbers can spark up.
The numbers in Spain are not as large as the outbreaks in the U.S. at this point, but like in America they appear to be driven by young people, according to the Times.
The country will reinstate both voluntary pandemic guidelines and some mandatory restrictions, according to the Post.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said the surge was brought on by seasonal farmworkers, people attending gatherings and nightclub attendees.
“The majority are related to fruit collection and also to the spaces where measures to avoid contact are relaxed,” Illa told Spain’s Parliament. “We have to call on citizens to not lose respect for the virus — not to be afraid of it, but not to lose respect for it either.”
Barcelona’s local authorities announced they would reexamine how many people are allowed at 10 of the regions’ beaches due to the spike in cases.
In southern Spain, the region of Andalusia reported a total of 545 infections this week, with nearly 100 of the cases stemming from one nightclub party two weeks ago in Cordoba.
Officials in the region of Valencia said Friday they are set to impose fines for those who ignore precautionary measures and fail to follow occupancy limits at nightclub locations.
Madrid has suffered increasing rates of COVID-19 infections, reporting 710 new cases this week. Face masks are widely used by many throughout the capital, although wearing one in public is not mandatory.
According to the Post, Spain has reported a total of 270,166 COVID-19 infections, with over 28,429 fatalities related to the virus.