Coronavirus shutdown: France considers slamming shut border with Spain – second wave hits

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Last week, around four million people living in Barcelona were advised to remain inside and only leave their home for exceptional circumstances as they reported a second wave of the deadly pandemic.

After Barcelona announced a second lockdown, Catalonia imposed new restrictions after reporting a daily increase of 944 cases.

The local authorities urged 96,000 residents of three towns in the Catalonia region to stay at home to help halt the spread of coronavirus.

The borders between France and Spain reopened on June 21 after three months of confinement on the Spanish side to combat the virus.

But now, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said the government will not rule out closing the borders again following the new outbreak.

Mr Castex said: “We are monitoring this very closely, here in particular, because it is a real issue that we must also discuss with the Spanish authorities.”

Residents in Catalonia must “stay at home if it is not essential for them to go out,” Mertixell Budo, the spokeswoman for the Catalan regional government said.

Although it is only a recommendation, Ms Budo hopes this will stop the virus spreading and cause more stricter measures.

She said: “We must go back a bit to avoid a total confinement of the population in the coming weeks.”

The regional government has imposed the closure of cinemas, theatres, nightclubs as well as prohibiting meetings of more than 10 people.

Visits to retirement homes has also been banned.

Carles Gispert, a 40-year-old DJ in Barcelona, said: “If people had done everything that authorities recommended, we would not be here.

“What I see is that we have retuned to the situation of March, everything is out of control.

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“The truth is that I expected it because there was a lot of relaxation after confinement.”

Barcelona has not yet imposed a mandatory lockdown.

Spain has been one of the worst hit countries with more than 28,400 deaths and more than 150 outbreaks have been detected since they eased lockdown restrictions.

In Barcelona, the number of cases almost tripled in one week where 733 positive cases were detected.

Although residents in Barcelona were urged to remain at home, beaches in the Spanish city reached capacity over the weekend as sunseekers flocked to enjoy the hot weather.

The Barceloneta beach had to be closed to sunbathers who queued to try and gain access to the sunny hotspot.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will hold talks with the French President Emmanuel Macron about closing the border between France and Spain once again.

Holidaymakers from England, Wales & Northern Ireland may journey to and from Spain without the need for a mandatory period of self-isolation.

Scottish travellers are still required to quarantine when they return to Scotland from Spain.

However, regulations could be set for further change if cases in Spain continue to rise.

The FCO explains that you must provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19, 48 hours prior to travel.

UK travellers may also undergo a “temperature check” and “a visual health assessment” upon arrival in Spain.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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