1.6m residents in Barcelona have been urged to stay home and avoid groups of more than ten after a massive spike in coronavirus cases.
The Catalan government has announced a string of new lockdown measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus, warning citizens that “it’s our last chance” to avoid a “total lockdown.” Emergency confinement measures such as a 50% capacity limit for bars and restaurants, as well as the closure of cinemas, theaters, and other spaces open to the public, will be extended to the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area, as well as the Segrià and Noguera counties.
The Regional Government has stopped short of imposing a mandatory lockdown, stunned residents were advised they should shop online and only to leave home when it’s absolutely essential. Authorities said that if people do not follow these instructions they will not hesitate to enforce a total lockdown of the city, the whole 1.6 million!
The authorities took the radical move after nearly 1,300 more people were confirmed or suspected of carrying the virus in Catalonia on Thursday alone, the highest daily increase in weeks. Barcelona is where most of the new cases have been identified, according to the region’s health department. Catalonia has seen 79,595 coronavirus infections and 6,913 deaths, out of a nationwide total of nearly 259,000 cases and 28,416 deaths.
The head of Epidemiology in Lleida, Catalunya has claimed that the current confinement of the area of Segrià in the region, has not been as effective as hoped, and stricter measures need to be taken.