Further restrictions for additional areas of Catalonia
The restrictions were widely ignored this weekend as 415,000 headed for the beach and coast despite being requested not to
On Sunday morning the Catalan Government, the Generalitat, took the decision to apply further restrictive measures to contain Covid outbreaks in the municipalities of Figueres and Vilafant, in Girona, and in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, in Barcelona, in addition to the existing retrictions in Barcelona and its metropolitan area and the Lleida comarcas of Segrià and La Noguera
Semi-confinement measures came into force yesterday in Barcelona and its metropolitan environment, but appear to have been largely ignored by the population, as more than 415,000 cars were recorded as driving out of the Catalan capital, heading towards coastal areas.
On Saturday afternoon Barcelona council was obliged to close 5 beaches at 17;30; Nova Icária, Barceloneta, Mar Bella, Bogatell and Sant Sebastiá as occupancy levels were considered to be too high.
Yet 944 new cases of Covid have been diagnosed in Cataluña in the last 24 hours.
The Generalitat acknowledged that it was a mistake to announce the measures on Friday, as it allowed thousands of people to leave over the weekend. “Making recommendations is of little use,” warned scientist Oriol Mitjà, until recently regional Government advisor on the issue of the pandemic.
There are now reported to be over 200 outbreaks in Spain, although the Health Ministry admits that it is becoming increasingly dificult to keep track of the outbreaks in areas such as Barcelona where there are so many new cases.
However, Cataluña is just one area reporting heavy numbers of new cases over the weekend; the city of Granada has a major outbreak, 73 cases have been diagnosed following an end of term party at a private school in Córdoba, with a further 670 close contacts quarantined, the biggest outbreak in Andalucía since new normality began, in the Atalayas leisure zone in Murcia, among a group of seasonal workers in Albacete, in a company in Malaga, in a nightclub in Navarra, in another venue for drinks in Gandía … there are outbreaks all over Spain.
After ten weeks of lockdown effectively brought the virus under control, Spain now appears to be once again losing control.
A month ago the indicators were positive, but when compared to Friday seem a long time ago…. 40 new daily infections then compared to the 628 recorded on Friday; a cumulative incidence (cases diagnosed in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants) that reached just 7.74 then as opposed to the 19.64 reported on Friday …
But as we all now recognise, it’s impossible to keep the country caged up in lockdown at the cost of a collapsing economy and in spite of the worsening figures our politicians are distancing themselves from talk of another large-scale lockdown, measures increasingly being imposed at a local level, with more contol and more autonomy being given to the 17 regional governments to manage affairs at a local level as the evolution of the virus permits.
This has occurred during the last week when the regions followed one after the other in imposing the compulsory wearing of masks; by Saturday only Madrid and the Canary Islands remained outside of the regulations.
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