Police close down packed Barcelona beach amid virus spike

U.S. & World

People enjoy the beach in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, July 18, 2020. Police in Barcelona are closing access to a large area of the city’s beaches due to the excess of sunbathers who decided to ignore the urgings of authorities to stay at home amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Police in Barcelona closed down access to a large area of the city’s beaches on Saturday after too many sunbathers ignored authorities’ request to stay at home amid a new wave of surging coronavirus infections.

Police blocked more people from entering the beach and used loudspeakers to recommend that the crowds already on the sand disperse because they were too closely packed and could increase the contagion risk.

Barcelona and other areas of Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region have experienced the largest outbreaks in the country since the European country ended a strict three-month nationwide lockdown that succeeded in reining in a savage outbreak that has claimed over 28,400 lives.

Catalan health authorities on Saturday reported over 1,200 new daily cases.

The new outbreaks have forced regional officials to prohibit gatherings of over 10 people in the city, an edict that took effect Saturday. They also strongly recommended that residents of Barcelona and neighboring municipalities only leave home for work or necessary errands.

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa urged Barcelona residents to follow the guidelines issued by the regional Catalan authorities.

The mandatory use of face masks is rapidly spreading across Spain as officials grapple with more than 180 active outbreaks, most of them in Catalonia and the neighboring Aragon region.

Overall, Europe has seen over 199,000 virus deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the true toll is the pandemic is even higher than that, due to limited testing and other reasons.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

HURRICANE LAURA: CLICK HERE TO DONATE

More Check This Out
Loving Living Local 600x600

Don't Miss