Spanish authorities have declared a national state of emergency on Sunday, October 25, and have imposed a nightly curfew in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) following a new spike in infections. A curfew will run between 23:00 and 06:00 (local time) and will come into force on Sunday and run initially for 15 days until November 9. Exceptions to the curfew include commuting to work, buying medicine, and caring for elderly and young family members. The new emergency measures apply to all regions except the Canary Islands.
Under the emergency measures, local authorities will be able to ban travel between regions and different regions will be able to amend the nightly curfew up to an hour of flexibility on either side of the start and end times. Catalonia was one of the first regions in Spain to use the new legislation to impose a curfew, which will take effect from 22:00 on Sunday, with establishments open to the public having the close at 21:00. There is also a limit on public and private gatherings of different households to a maximum of six people.
As of October 25, a total of 1,046,132 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country and 34,752 related deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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