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Gran Canaria and Madrid go into voluntary lockdown as regions in Spain hit by coronavirus outbreaks

REGIONS across Spain including in Madrid and Gran Canaria are back in voluntary lockdown as coronavirus outbreaks continue across the country.

Tielmes in Madrid, La Barquilla in Cáceres and Valleseco in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria have asked residents not to leave their homes if possible.

The tourist resort of Valleseco in Gran Canaria has only seen three positive cases of coronavirus, but the local mayor had warned he doesn’t want to take any chance given the high number of positives elsewhere on the island. 

He has asked 4,000 residents to confine themselves on a voluntary basis and not to leave their homes if possible to avoid outbreaks of coronavirus.

Gran Canaria has registered the most coronavirus outbreaks of all the Canary Islands, mainly connected to nightlife, and tripled cases in 23 days – taking total cases to 2,043.

Positive cases of coronavirus in the Canary Islands increased on Sunday by 270 to 4,853. The number of deaths remain at 167.

Valleseco mayor, Dámaso Arencibia Lantigua has also suspended all events until further notice in order to avoid the mass concentration of people.

He says all travel outside the town should be avoided unless absolutely essential.

“I call for more effort to contain the disease,” he said.

The Canary government is reported to be considering new restrictions which could include a limit on mobility in certain areas.

The same restrictions have been imposed in the small town of Tielmes in Madrid which only has 2,600 residents but attracts international tourists.

This morning, the streets were reported to be deserted as residents heeded the advice to stay at home and not to travel unless vitally important.

Measures have included the closure of hotels and restaurants, the municipal swimming pool and parks and public spaces, leisure and event activities and the flea market. 

In the last week, 39 people have tested positive in Tielmes and the results of 57 more diagnostic tests are expected.

The mayor, Miguel Ángel Barbero said: “This is not confinement as such but a series of recommendations. This will not be exclusive to this municipality. There are several sources and there is no relationship between them.”

The measures will last for 14 days but could be renewed.

La Barquilla in Cáceres has just 345 residents but has gone back to phase two of the coronavirus restrictions due to an outbreak which has already infected 13 people.

The three areas join the localities that are already in voluntary lockdown: Alcántara (Cáceres); Villarta de los Montes and La Morera (Badajoz); Montalbán (Córdoba); Algarinejo and Benaumaurel (Granada), and Villamalea (Albacete).  Segriá and La Noguera, in Catalonia, are still confined. 

In Reus, Tarragona, parks have been closed and capacity has been limited to meetings. Authorities recommend not going out unless necessary to prevent infection.

Andalusia has also indicated that it will not hesitate to impose new restrictions if cases continue to rise and the same message has been echoed by the Balearics and the Canaries.

Andalusian health minister, Jesús Aguirre, said the authority was “very worried” about the increase in the Covid-19 infection rate in the region.

The Spanish government has so far ruled out a return to a country-wide lockdown and has delegated decisions to the autonomous communities which recently unanimously agreed measures such as the closure of all nightclubs and a ban on smoking in the street unless social distancing can be guaranteed.

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