Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Monday, May 25, that the country will lift the ongoing two-week coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine period for those arriving from overseas from Wednesday, July 1, in an effort to reopen the country for foreign tourists. In addition, the Spanish football league, La Liga, will resume from Monday, June 8. A 10-day mourning period for the victims of the virus has also been declared starting from Tuesday, May 26.
The statement follows the announcement of the easing of some COVID-19 lockdown measures on Friday, May 22. As of May 25, municipalities across Spain with a population of less than 10,000 will be allowed to reopen bars and restaurants. Individuals living in the municipalities will also see an elimination of strict timetables in which they are allowed to leave their homes and a loosening of restrictions for individuals going for walks.
Additionally, outdoor dining of up to 10 people will be permitted in Barcelona and Madrid from May 25, although bars and restaurants will be limited to 50 percent capacity. Theatres, cinemas, museums, and art galleries will also be allowed to reopen in the cities at no more than one-third of capacity. Churches are also permitted to reopen, and individuals will be free to travel around their own province. However, social distancing measures will remain in place.
As of May 25, health authorities have confirmed 235,772 COVID-19 cases and 28,752 associated deaths in the country. Further 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 (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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 general risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or 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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