On Friday, September 4, authorities in Spain further extended coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related-restrictions on indoor gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The same restrictions in place for outdoor gatherings have been extended to indoor gatherings, with groups now limited to ten people. This measure was introduced to reflect the findings that many of the recent infections have been tied to gatherings in homes. Funerals, burials, weddings, and religious celebrations, as well as group visits to museums or guided tourism, will also be restricted starting Monday, September 7.
Spanish authorities on August 21, advised Madrid residents to stay at home, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the capital. The regional deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero advised residents to not go on trips and to avoid meetings that are not essential, especially those in Madrid's worst-affected areas.
On August 14, Spanish authorities ordered nightclubs to close and banned smoking in outdoor areas in establishments where social distancing is not possible. The government has also advised against gatherings of more than ten people and specifically urged young people to not meet outdoors to drink alcohol.
As of September 4, health authorities have confirmed a total of 488,513 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 29,234 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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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