- Title: Spain's Catalonia makes masks compulsory in public at all times
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: ORDIZIA, SPAIN (JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) PEOPLE IN LINE FOR PCR TESTS BEING CARRIED OUT IN MARQUEES VARIOUS OF PCR TESTS BEING CARRIED OUT NURSE ORGANISING TEST TUBES VARIOUS OF NURSES ORGANISING PAPER WORK MAN ARRIVING FOR TEST GUARD PROVIDING HAND SANITISER TO A MAN WHO ENTERS THE AREA TO GET A PCR TEST (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HEAD OF PRIMARY CARE UNIT IN ORDIZIA, ARANTZA SAEZ, SAYING: "The initial criteria to get the test was based on whether you had attended certain establishments where it was possible there was community contagion or that you have symptoms compatible with COVID, or that you have been in close contact with those cases." CORDONED OFF BUILDING SIGN ON BARRIER READING IN BASQUE AND SPANISH "COVID-19 - BUILDING TEMPORARILY CLOSED" PEOPLE WEARING MASKS SITTING ON BENCHES UNDER TREES STREET WITH CLOSED SHOPS AND BARS
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 19:37
- Keywords: Barcelona Basque Country COVID-19 Catalonia Granada LLeida Ordizia Quim Torra Spain coronavirus coronavirus outbreak masks outbreak spikes
- Location: LLEIDA, BARCELONA, ORDIZIA AND GRANADA, SPAIN
- City: LLEIDA, BARCELONA, ORDIZIA AND GRANADA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CLY9IKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Catalonia on Wednesday (July 8) ordered all residents and visitors to wear face masks in public at all times, becoming the first Spanish region to toughen a national directive mandating their use when in close proximity to others.
The order, which takes effect on Thursday (July 9), was announced by regional leader Quim Torra four days after more than 200,000 people in the Segria area, which includes the city of Lleida, were placed under a local lockdown following a series of coronavirus outbreaks there.
In the Basque Country, PCR tests were carried out in Ordizia after an outbreak was linked to an area known for its nightlife and could be related to a person who arrived from Lleida, health authorities said.
On Tuesday, 35 people in Ordizia had tested positive so far, local media reported.
Spanish authorities last month made wearing masks compulsory indoors and outdoors in all circumstances under which 1.5 metres (5 ft) of social distancing could not be maintained, and until a coronavirus cure or vaccine is found.
Torra's order removed that social distancing exception for Catalonia, making masks compulsory in all social situations.
The tougher measure aims to stave off a "relaxation" in attitude towards the virus observed among some citizens, a regional spokesperson said.
In the province of Granada, health authorities initially reported six cases of COVID-19 linked to a wake in Belicena where 700 people may have been in contact with family members of the deceased.
The pandemic has hit Spain harder than most other European countries, causing more than 28,000 deaths and close to 270,000 infections, according to official data.
In a news conference on Wednesday Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the new spikes showed that people must remain vigilant, but also demonstrated Spain's region's are no able to act early to address coronavirus outbreaks.
(Production: Michael Gore, Vincent West, Catherine Macdonald)
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