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17 July 2020 22:31

Spain Coronavirus Coronavirus

Barcelona in 'voluntary lockdown': City's residents urged to stay home after coronavirus case spike

Residents of Barcelona, which is Spain's second largest city with a population of 1.6 million people, were urged to stay home and not gather in groups of more than 10 on Friday. "It is very important to respect these measures now, it's the best way to avoid a lockdown." Residents were urged to shop online and cultural and sports events will also be limited. Spain reported the steepest daily jump in coronavirus infections in over two months on Thursday, with 580 new cases registered, up from 390 reported on Wednesday and with the regions of Aragon and Catalonia leading the increase. Authorities have reimposed restrictions in some areas of Catalonia, including home confinement in the Lleida area affecting some 160,000 people, and health officials there said measures would have to be taken in the capital Barcelona, but gave no further details. Residents of Barcelona have been urged to stay home and not gather in groups of more than ten in order to fight an increase in coronavirus cases.

But the regional government, in Catalonia, stopped short of imposing a mandatory lockdown for Spain's second-largest city and said the measures were meant to avoid having to do so. Catalonia's regional authorities on Friday called on residents of Barcelona to stay home and not gather in groups of more than ten in order to fight an increase in coronavirus cases But the regional government stopped short of imposing a mandatory lockdown for Spain's second-largest city and said the measures were meant to avoid having to do so The Catalan capital - home to 1.6 million people and one of Europe's most visited cities - has seen its number of coronavirus cases jump from last week. Residents of Barcelona, which is one of Spain's tourism hotspots, are encouraged to shop online and only go out of home when it's absolutely essential, regional officials told a news conference Catalonia and the neighbouring Aragon region, where coronavirus cases have also spiked, are now of most concern to the Spanish authorities, as they watch more than 150 clusters of the virus across the country. West of Barcelona, 160,000 people in Lerida and surrounding towns were placed under lockdown on Wednesday following a standoff between the regional government and judicial authorities. The new measures come after Catalonia's authorities locked down Segrià County, in which 400,000 people live, earlier this month following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Around four million residents of Barcelona were advised not to leave their homes except for essential journeys after authorities brought in new restrictions on Friday to try to halt a surge in coronavirus cases. The authorities warned they would have to impose a total lockdown, as happened across Spain in March at the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, if people did not abide by the new rules. The new Spanish restrictions, which will affect about four million people living in Barcelona and outlying towns, came after the number of coronavirus cases in Catalonia soared to 1,293 in the last 24 hours on Thursday, the highest since May 18, when the counting methodology changed. One of the most visited cities in Europe, the Catalan capital has seen the number of Covid-19 cases triple in the last week, the regional health authority said. Residents of Barcelona have been urged to stay at home in a voluntary return to lockdown restrictions prompted by a spike in new cases in Spain's second city.

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