BARCELONA is facing a swift return to lockdown in as little as two weeks as local cases rise.
The threat has led to thousands of people fleeing cities like Barcelona and heading to smaller seaside towns to get one last taste of freedom.
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Locals flocked to Barceloneta beach after city authorities announced further restrictions[/caption]
Beaches were packed over the weekend as locals getting a bit of sun in the only place they don’t have to wear a mask.
Further north, in coastal towns like Platja d’Aro, Barcelonian’s are causing a major health risk as they flock to the beaches and second homes to dodge the threat of another lockdown.
One restaurant manager, named only as “Bryan”, told Spanish paper, El Pais, that local tourists are packing the towns every weekend as foreign tourism has been slow to return.
He said: “Everything has changed.
“During the week it’s calm and on the weekends it’s really busy.
“Those who have come from Barcelona this weekend say that it could be their last and that they wanted to take advantage in case they are confined again.”
Foreign tourists are also being warned to stay away, but many Brits are rushing to the area to take advantage of what appears to be a rapidly closing window.
‘EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED’
On Friday four million people in Barcelona and the surrounding region were urged to stay at home to stop the spread of further infection.
Millions of residents are being warned by the chief of Catalonia’s coronavirus monitoring unit, Jacobo Mendioroz, that things are getting worse.
He said: “The next step is home confinement.
“We really do not have other tools to protect citizens, but it is what we would like to avoid.
“If people do not respect the recommendation not to leave Barcelona because it is not prohibited, it can be considered a mistake.” The Times reported.
The beach is one of the few places Catalans do not have to wear a mask[/caption]
One official said last week this is the “last chance” if people don’t act sensibly.
Spanish figures have been on the rise since early July, with daily cases exploding in just three weeks, from 388 cases on July 1, to around 4,600 reported over the weekend.
Catalonia is the worst hit part of Spain at the moment in spite of city streets being far quieter than usual and the legal requirement to wear a mask.
Governors are caught between balancing tourism, the economy, and public health.
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Local governments do not have the power to enforce a lockdown, however, they have been doing everything they can in Catalonia to enforce new social distancing rules.
The Catalan government has issued new instructions for 13 municipalities to restrict service in restaurants, bars and shops.
Residents are also doing their best to stop the spread and are following social distancing “recommendations” made by the local authorities.
Catalan regional President, Quim Torra (2-L), Deputy President, Pere Aragones (R) and his ministers Meritxell Budo (L) and Alba Verges (2-R) met today to discuss the new outbreak[/caption]
Street performers dance at Barceloneta beach to a close-knit crowd[/caption]
Catalonia is Spain’s new hotspot for coronavirus cases[/caption]