Coronavirus: Spanish authorities order lockdown in El Segriá, COVID second wave feared

A medical worker lifts a patient out of an ambulance at a hospital in Lleida, northeastern Spain, on July 4, 2020.

Spanish authorities ordered a lockdown of a county in the northeast after a concerning rise in coronavirus cases.

From noon on Saturday, more than 200,000 people in El Segriá, located in Catalonia and surrounding the city of Lleida, were locked down.

People who do not reside in the county may leave before 16:00 CET but afterwards exit and entry will be restricted to essential workers, Catalonia’s civil protection authorities said in a statement.

“Other measures to restrict activities and mobility may be established within the Segrià region,” Spanish authorities said.

There are nearly 4,000 cases in the city of Lleida, which has a population of under 150,000. Health officials in Catalonia said the data showed “a higher incidence” in the county compared to the rest of Spain, with new hospitalisations over the past week.

Residents are recommended to stay where they live and to only travel for essential purposes.

Residents of El Segria, including the ancient city of Lleida, have been confined and roadblocks set up since midday on Saturday due to a worrying surge in cases that comes amid fears of a second wave of Covid-19.

The 30-plus affected municipalities are home to about 209,000 people. Residents will not be confined to their homes, but they will not be allowed to leave and no one is allowed to enter.

More than 60 new cases of Covid-19 were announced in the region on Friday – a day after 128 new infections were confirmed – taking the total to just over 4,000, according to the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere, in southern Malaga, whose airport is a major entry point for tourists heading to Spain’s Costa del Sol beaches on the Mediterranean, medical authorities are investigating an outbreak with 105 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the Andalusia regional government said on its website.

In Granada, home to the Alhambra Palace cultural site, they are also investigating five other outbreaks, with a combined total of 29 confirmed cases mostly in the local region, the Andalusia government said.

It comes a day after the UK government announced that it had struck an air bridge agreement with Spain and more than 50 other countries, allowing quarantine-free travel from July 10.

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