Spain puts 200,000 people back into lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise


More than 200,000 people in northeast Spain have been put back into an enforced lockdown following several new outbreaks of coronavirus.

Residents in the county of Segria, which includes the city of Lleida, in the Catalonia region, were told by authorities not to leave the area from midday (11am in the UK) on Saturday, and were given until 4pm local time (3pm in the UK) to enter the area if outside.

However, people will not be confined to their homes as was the case in Spain‘s original strict lockdown, which came into force on 14 March as cases of coronavirus were rising around the world.

Leicester. Pic: Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Shutterstock
Leicester is the first city in the UK to go into localised lockdown. Pic: Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Shutterstock

“We have decided to confine Segria due to data that confirms too significant a growth in the number of COVID-19 infections,” Catalan regional president Quim Torra told a news briefing.

Regional health ministry data showed there were 3,706 cases in the Lleida region on Friday, up from 3,551 the previous day.

The new outbreaks have been linked to agricultural workers in the rural area.

Spain has registered 205,545 coronavirus cases and 28,385 deaths, making it one of the worst affected countries in Europe.

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After imposing a strict lockdown in March, the Spanish government has been gradually easing restrictions since early May.

However, like Leicester in the UK, Segria faces a localised lockdown.

Movement for work will be permitted, but from Tuesday workers entering or leaving the area will have to present a certificate from their employer.

Germany has also seen a local lockdown, with Guetersloh county, the country’s most populous state, reintroducing restrictions in June after a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

More than 1,500 people from the Toennies plant tested positive for COVID-19.

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