Health

Spain, France alarmed by Covid spikes, masks obligatory in England’s shops

(Update 1: Adds latest figures from Spain, graphs 3,4)

Madrid Desk, Jul 24 (efe-epa).- Fresh coronavirus outbreaks in Spain and France have authorities concerned while in England shoppers have been asked to wear masks to control the spread of Covid-19 and could face fines for breaching the new law.

SPAIN

The number of infections in Spain has increased seven-fold since the end of the state of alarm, the mechanism that underpinned the draconian lockdown that ended on 21 June, although officials have so far ruled out new nationwide restrictions. The power to reimpose lockdowns remains in the hands of local authorities for the moment.

On Friday, Spanish health officials said there were 922 infections in the last 24 hours, a little less than the 971 cases identified Thursday.

There are at least 281 identified outbreaks, authorities have said, and almost 11,000 cases detected in the last 10 days.

The fresh outbreaks were particularly strong in Catalonia, where restrictions were put in place in the Barcelona metropolitan area and Lleida, and neighboring Aragon. Authorities in Madrid on Thursday said they were mulling new limitations to nightlife in the coming week following a jump in cases in the capital.

FRANCE

Across the border in France, authorities are also fleshing out a response to new Covid-19 outbreaks and have sent messages to the public warning them not to drop their guard when it comes to following health and safety protocols.

The country’s public health body on Thursday said there were 1,062 new cases detected in the last 24 hour period and that last week saw a 27 percent jump in infections compared to the previous seven days.

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