Spain: 200,000 placed under lockdown in Catalonia amid COVID-19 outbreak

Catalonia President Quim Torra announced on Saturday the lockdown of residents from the Segria region, in Lleida, due to the increase of cases of coronavirus. The measure, which came into effect at 12:00 (10:00 GMT), affects about 210,000 people in the city of Lleida and 37 other municipalities. During the announcement Torra called the decision «difficult,» but said it was a step taken to control the resurgence. Entry and exit to the region will be restricted, although mobility is allowed inside. Meetings of more than ten people are forbidden, both in public and private places, as well as visits to geriatric homes. The Mossos d'escuadra (Regional police) have announced that they will deploy 25 checkpoints and mobilise about 200 officers. It has also been reported that firefighters are mobilised in case disinfections are needed. Since the end of the state of alert, a total of 69 outbreaks have been detected throughout the country, 44 of which are still active. The Catalan government announcement came on the same day that Spain opened its borders to 12 non-EU countries, although they will remain closed to China, Morocco and Algeria until they apply the principle of reciprocity. To date, Spain has recorded 250,545 cases of COVID-19 and 28,385 linked deaths, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

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