Coronavirus: Catalonia closes late bars and nightclubs as it battles a surge of coronavirus cases

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Some nightclubs in Spain have been shut following local coronavirus outbreaks (AP Photo)

Catalonia will close late-night bars and nightclubs from Saturday as Spain’s northeastern region battles a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Catalan government announced the closures on Friday, which will last for 15 days.

Opening hours for bingo halls, gambling halls, and casinos have also been reduced as the region fears a second wave.

Spain recorded 280 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Friday, three times more than two weeks ago.

It comes less than a month after the country ended its lockdown.

The country is one of Europe’s hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 28,000 people killed by the virus and over 272,000 infections, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Catalonia’s Health Department reported a total of 89,727 coronavirus cases in the region on Saturday.

Despite the surge in cases, flights and travel to Spain are still permitted from the EU.

Spain is one of the world’s top travel destinations, with Catalonia boasting its lively beach resorts and bars. The region’s tourism industry is the country’s economic powerhouse.

On Friday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex “strongly recommended” French citizens to “avoid” going to Catalonia. The Franco-Catalan border nevertheless remains open.

Spanish Travel

Spain reopened its borders to EU member states, Schengen area countries and the UK on June 21. None of these travellers have to self-isolate.

Portugal had been the only exception to the above, but the border between the two countries reopened on July 1. The country also opened up to the list of non-member states approved by the EU Council.

United Kingdom Travel

Borders are currently open. Since June 8, visitors from abroad are required to quarantine for 14 days. Those exempt from these measures include people travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

As in other countries, certain professions are exempt from these rules, such as healthcare workers travelling to deliver healthcare in the country. Upon arrival, those who are required to self-isolate need to provide their journey and contact details.

On July 3, England announced plans to scrap its quarantine rules for a number of countries it deems low-risk, including France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

This came into effect on July 10, meaning travellers arriving from those countries will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

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