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Spain second lockdown imminent? Second evacuation of visitors?

Spain will not re-open borders to foreign visitors until July
Spain will not re-open borders to foreign visitors until July

According to reliable eTurboNews sources within Catalonia’s law enforcement community, a lockdown for all of Catalonia may be announced as early as tomorrow.  Similar sources confirmed the entire country of Spain is studying a second nationwide lockdown that would increase the economic disaster this EU country is facing specifically for the travel and tourism industry.

Already about 160,000 people in the Spanish region of Catalonia went back into confinement on Wednesday as authorities scrambled to control a fresh surge of coronavirus infections in the area, just weeks after a nationwide lockdown was lifted.

Today, Spain has reported 1,361 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours – that’s the biggest daily increase in cases nationwide for more than 2 months. Spain counts for 305,935 cases with 28,416 deaths.

The number of new infections has been going up for the last week, indicating a second wave has already emerged.

On July 8, Spain recorded 383 new cases; on July 9: 543; July 10: 852; July 15: 875; today on July 16: 1,361.

WTTC, the World Travel and Tourism Council based in London declared most of Spain including areas in Catalonia safe and issued its safe stamp of approval to be a “Safe Travels” Destination. The stamp was awarded to Barcelona,  City & Beaches Benidorm, Alicante, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Sevilla, and a number of other regions and hotel groups.

WTTC CEO Gloria Guevera stopped responding to eTurboNews after this publication questioned the word “safe” in an otherwise excellent initiative. The WTTC Safe Travel initiative has been setting global guidelines for a destination or tourism business to operate under the current pandemic.  When a business or destination tells WTTC it would follow these guidelines, WTTC allowed using their “Stamp of Approval” as a “Safe Travels” company or destination.

The publisher of eTurboNews started the rebuilding.travel initiative and suggested to WTTC to define the word: “safe” in their initiative.

Good bye tourism in Spain? Lockdown imminent?

Various tourism bubbles were created for Spain, including a travel corridor between  Germany and Mallorca.

Catalonia, with the rest of Spain, is a tourism-dependent region in Europe. Spain is the host of the specialized UN agency for tourism, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The pandemic brought a tough national lockdown to an end on June 21. It saw tourists from other countries evacuated.

The travel and tourism industry had tried to reopen during this important high season holiday season, but since then, more than 170 clusters have sprung up, prompting regional authorities to impose a patchwork of local restrictions, confusing locals and angering businesses.

Tensions are at their highest in Catalonia because the wealthy northeastern region of 7.5 million people is seeing the biggest number of new cases.

But just as a judge approved the regional government’s stay-at-home order for residents of the Lleida area, about 180 km (110 miles) west of Barcelona, tensions rose over how to handle an increase in cases in a suburb of the Catalan capital.

Not long after February 25, when health authorities broke the news that there had been a positive COVID-19 diagnosis of a person in Catalonia, figures increased greatly, though thankfully – and as evidenced by the more recent lockdown de-escalation – these have decreased and stabilized significantly.

As of July 15, official figures state there have been 79,595 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,913 people in Catalonia who have died in medical centers after having been diagnosed or suspected to have contracted the illness.

A total of 12,631 people with or suspected to have had the virus have died since the beginning of the outbreak according to funeral homes.

The following graphs show how the pandemic has evolved in Catalonia since the first diagnosis. All figures are provided by the Catalan health department as of July 15, 2020.


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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.