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Spain’s capital of Madrid will become the first European city to be plunged back into lockdown. The region’s leadership was opposing a second lockdown but the region’s chief Isabel Diaz Aysuo reluctantly changed her mind. The lockdown means that non-essential travel to and from the capital will be banned.
Madrid and nine other municipalities will have their borders closed to non-essential visits.
Going to work, school, a medical appointment or shopping is the only travel that will be permitted.
There will also be a further curfew put in place for bars and restaurants which will be moved from 11pm until 1am.
However, Ms Aysuo has said she plans to appeal against the lockdown in courts.
She said on Thursday to the regional assembly: “This region is not in rebellion and will strictly comply with all the orders.
“But yes, we will go to the courts … to stand up for the rights of the Madrilenos.”
Madrid is recording 859 cases per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The worrying figures make the capital the worst coronavirus hotspot in the whole of Europe.
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Earlier this year, the country was deemed the worst-hit country in Europe.
In May and June, the country’s cases dropped considerably which is why the UK decided to include it on its travel corridor list.
But at the end of July cases began to steeply rise again which is when the UK removed the country from its quarantine exemption list.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is now advising against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.
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Those who decide to travel there will face 14 days in quarantine on their return to the UK.
The country has recorded almost 800,000 cases and almost 32,000 deaths at the time of writing.
Spain has been recording around 10,000 new cases each day.
The country’s case rate per 100,000 people over a seven-day period has rocketed to 161.1, according to figures from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and The PC Agency.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that Spain’s tourism figures have dropped dramatically, according to Reuters.
The country usually has around 80 million foreign tourists each year.
However, between January and August, only 15.7 million people visited, around 73 percent fewer than in 2019, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
In August, international tourist arrivals into Spain dropped 76 percent.
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