Spain’s regions enact new restrictions to curb COVID-19
Madrid is considering limiting size of gatherings, exercising stronger control over nightclubs and bars
With 2,255 new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Friday, some of Spain’s regions are scrambling to adopt new measures to prevent a second wave of the virus.
Over the last week, there have been nearly 11,000 new infections diagnosed – twice the weekly number from last Friday and quadruple that of two weeks ago.
Hospitalizations have also continued to creep up with 327 new COVID-19 patients in the last week.
On Friday, the French prime minister “strongly encouraged” residents to avoid travel to Catalonia, while the Norwegian government announced it will re-impose a 10-day quarantine for anyone arriving from Spain.
Some of Spain’s top epidemiologists are saying that this is likely the beginning of a second wave.
Spain’s Health Ministry is struggling to cope with the public health situation, while various regional governments are announcing their own measures to slow down the coronavirus spread.
Masks are already mandatory in the vast majority of public spaces in the country.
On Friday, Antonio Zapatero, vice president of Madrid’s public health, told the radio station Onda Madrid that as of next week Spain’s capital region will be enacting new measures.
He said the region is currently studying limiting the size of gatherings, reducing maximum capacity and exercising stronger control over nightclubs and bars.
As hundreds of Spain’s new weekly infections have derived directly from the country’s famous nightlife, it has become one of the most obvious targets.
Catalonia has already shut down nightclubs in Barcelona, and the Catalan government has floated the possibility of shutting them down across the region, as have officials in the Basque Country and Andalusia.
On Friday, the city of Zaragoza in Aragon and the surrounding area also took a step back, reducing maximum capacity in some public spaces, shutting down bars at midnight and limiting gatherings to 10 people.
On Thursday, an entire town in Murcia was quarantined and moved back to stage one of the de-escalation after 62 people tested positive after attending a nightclub.
In Barcelona and several other regions of Catalonia, authorities have asked everyone to stay home unless for essential purposes. Yet, with beaches overflowing with people in the area, it is clear that the recommendations are being largely ignored.