Report below updated in Spain at 17.30h on Sunday 19 July
Although Spain’s central Health Ministry no longer updates its figures for Coronavirus (Covid-19) during the weekends (with the last figures released on Friday 17 July), the Catalan government’s health department has released figures.
On Sunday there have been 944 new cases of Coronavirus registered in Catalonia – now equating to 9,722 new cases in the past 14 days (5,512 new cases in the past week).
As reported on Friday, the Catalan government has called upon people living in the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area, as well as the Segrià and Noguera counties in Lleida, to avoid leaving home unless necessary, and to not travel to any second homes. The regional government can only recommend these measures, however – and at the moment, there is not a legal ruling in place to enforce the restrictions.
The Catalan traffic authorities registered the departure of 360,000 vehicles from the city of Barcelona on Friday and Saturday, heading for nearby coastal areas.
The Catalan government has also introduced other restrictions – such as a 50% capacity limit for bars and restaurants, as well as the closure of cinemas, theatres, and other areas normally open to the public.
Appointments are also needed to shop at stores providing non-essential goods. Libraries and museums will remain open for now and children’s summer camps will also still be running.
In the Barcelona area, the new restrictions apply to El Prat de Llobregat, Sant Joan Despí, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Cornellà, Viladecans, Esplugues, L’Hospitalet, Montcada i Reixac, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Adrià del Besòs, Badalona, and the city of Barcelona itself.
In an attempt to curb the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the Catalan government has now proposed extending these measures to three other municipalities: Figueres and Vilafant, in northern Catalonia, and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, not far from Barcelona.
These measures are backed by Civil Protection (Procicat) but are pending judicial approval before they can be published in the official Catalan gazette (DOGC).
If approved, gatherings of over 10 people in both public and private settings will be banned, including at weddings, religious services, celebrations, and funerals.
People are advised to stay home unless essential to receive medical assistance, go to work, or to buy basic goods such as food.
France ‘monitoring very closely’ Covid-19 situation in Spain
Meanwhile, France is ‘monitoring very closely’ the Coronavirus situation in Spain, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday – just a month after the border between the two countries was re-opened.
‘We are monitoring this very closely .. because it is a real issue that we also need to discuss with the Spanish authorities,’ Castex said in response to a question about the possible closure of borders.
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