Catalonia relaxes containment measures in coronavirus hit city
Thursday, 30 July 2020
Catalan authorities on Wednesday eased coronavirus (Covid-19) containment measures in and around Lleida, Spain, as authorities believe to have the situation under control.
“The measures implemented in recent weeks have reduced Covid-19 infections in the region of Lleida (…), which shows that the epidemic is under control,” said the president of Catalonia, Quim Torra.
The city and six nearby municipalities, located 150 kilometres west of Barcelona, were first placed under travel restrictions in early July after an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the region, before strict home containment was introduced on 13 July. Residents can now leave the area for the first time since 4 July.
Bars and restaurants can now reopen their terraces until midnight and shops can welcome customers again, provided they halve their numbers.
More than 28,400 people have died from coronavirus in Spain, which like its neighbours is facing a new rise in infections, almost half of which are in Catalonia. The regional government ordered the confinement of almost four million people in the Barcelona metropolitan area on 18 July.
In total, 282,641 Spaniards have been confirmed to have coronavirus as of Wednesday 29 July, according to the Spanish Health Ministry. For comparison, Belgium counted 66,662 confirmed cases and 9,833 deaths on Wednesday.
As of Thursday morning, Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs still had Lleida province listed as a red zone, along with Huesca province in Aragon. Travel to these areas is not possible or not authorised, and quarantine and testing are mandatory for people entering Belgium from these regions.
The rest of Catalonia and Aragon, along with the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja and Extremadura, are in the orange zone, with increased vigilance required for those travelling there, and quarantine and testing recommended upon return.