Catalonia reimposes night-time curfew amid worrying coronavirus fifth wave
(Update 1: adds coronavirus daily increase, vaccination figures)
Madrid, Jul 16 (EFE).- The High Court of Justice of Catalonia greenlit Friday a nighttime curfew in 161 municipalities of the northeastern Spanish region as Covid-19 cases rise and hospitals face growing pressure.
The 1am to 6am curfew, that will affect Barcelona, will be in force for seven days in areas with over 5,000 inhabitants and an incidence rate of over 400 cases per 100,000 people.
A night curfew was lifted in the region just over two months ago following steady progress of the vaccination scheme and a significant decrease in infections.
But as young, unvaccinated people crowded the beaches and nightlife venues, the region reported an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases, leading to an aggressive fifth wave of contagion that is threatening primary health care centers and hospital capacity.
Cases in Catalonia are double the national average and have reached a 14-day incidence rate of up to 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.
The decision to reimpose a curfew comes after the neighboring Valencia region won approval to restore a night-time curfew earlier this week.
Spain reported on Friday 31,060 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and 129,098 new infections in the last five days, according to health ministry data.
Some EU countries have advised their citizens against travel to Spain, frustrating hopes that the 2021 summer season might see a recovery of the international tourism sector.
The UK government dropped the Balearics off its green list this week, after the islands reported the region’s highest figure, 864, of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row.