As part of Spain's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions relaxation plan, the government announced on Friday that Madrid and Barcelona will move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the plan on Monday, June 8, while over the half of the country will move to Phase 3. Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases, Madrid and Barcelona are two of the final areas to come out of Phase 1 of the de-escalation plan. Under Phase 2 of the plan, social gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed and there are fewer restrictions on outdoor activity. Inter-provincial travel is still banned under Phase 2. Under Phase 3, gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed and open-air cafes can operate at 75 percent capacity. Bars are also permitted to reopen under certain health conditions. Each region is due to spend at least two weeks in each phase before progressing to the next phase, depending on infection rates.
On Wednesday, June 3, the Spanish Parliament has backed a final extension of the national state of emergency (SoE) until June 21. The SoE grants the government greater authority over the public's mobility during the relaxation of COVID-19 measures.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on May 25 that the country will lift the ongoing two-week quarantine period for those arriving from overseas from July 1 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 was also declared starting from May 26.
As of May 25, municipalities across Spain with a population of less than 10,000 were 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.
As of Saturday, June 6, health authorities have confirmed 240,978 cases of COVID-19, including 27,134 associated deaths. 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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