Spain's coronavirus rates triple in three weeks causing problems for British holidaymakers

Yahoo News UK
Spain has seen its coronavirus cases triple in recent weeks. (Getty)
Spain has seen its coronavirus cases triple in recent weeks. (Getty)

Spain’s coronavirus rates have tripled since lockdown restrictions were eased three weeks ago, causing problems for British holidaymakers looking to book a quick getaway this summer.

New cases in the country had slowed to a trickle in June before the nationwide lockdown was lifted, but since then more than 280 clusters have been detected, with Catalonia the worst affected.

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Health ministry data showed 2,615 new cases across Spain on Thursday, compared with a daily average of just 132 in June.

Spain saw one of the worst coronavirus pandemics in the world which has leftover 28,000 dead.

A waiter wearing protective face masks as a measure to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Mallorca. (AP)
A waiter wearing protective face masks as a measure to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Mallorca. (AP)

Following local spikes, some 96,000 residents of three Catalan towns were advised to stay at home last weekend while in Barcelona locals were asked on Friday to leave their home only for essential trips. 

In Catalonia, nearly 8,000 cases were diagnosed in the last 14 days - almost half of the 16,410 detected throughout the country.

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Spain was on the list of countries the UK government made exempt from its 14-day quarantine policy for foreign arrivals on July 3.

British holiday companies and the Spanish tourism sector have been eager to revive their industry which was decimated by the pandemic.

Women wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach in Malaga on July 22. (Getty)
Women wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach in Malaga on July 22. (Getty)

The Spanish government is struggling to find a balance between reopening its tourist attractions and enacting measures to fight the virus.

Health Minister Salvador Illa told Reuters: “Where measures have been relaxed is where these clusters appear.

“We’re talking about gatherings of extended family and spaces associated with nightlife.”

People wearing masks in Barcelona. (AP)
People wearing masks in Barcelona. (AP)

Popular tourist destinations like the Costa del Sol, Malaga and Almeria have seen spikes in cases in the recent weeks since Spain reopened its borders with the UK.

If the country struggles to get the virus back under control it would cause further havoc for the tourist industry which accounts for 12% of the nation’s output.

The UK Government is due to review its list of travel corridors on Monday and regional air bridges that cover specific regions of a country reportedly being considered.

If Spain is placed back on the quarantine list then it would cause outrage among British holidaymakers and tourist companies.

It would mean anyone arriving from the country would be forced into a two-week quarantine when they landed in the UK.

Airlines and holiday companies have lobbied the government to ditch the 14-quarantine policy entirely saying the uncertainty is unworkable for their industry.

Wooden poles separate and divide into squares the sandbank in Sanxenxo, Galicia, Spain. (Getty)
Wooden poles separate and divide into squares the sandbank in Sanxenxo, Galicia, Spain. (Getty)

Local authorities in Spain are all too aware of the risk posed by the virus, the Canary Islands recently launched a graphic publicity campaign urged people to be cautious.

The image showed a family party turns into tragedy when the grandfather ends up lying unconscious on a hospital bed after contracting Covid-19.

"A simple family gathering can bring you as a present 40 days in a coma, or even death," the slogan reads.

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