Barcelona may have to reinstate lockdown in the coming weeks, unless the coronavirus infection rate decreases.
But what does this mean for tourists visiting the popular city in Spain?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why might Barcelona reinstate lockdown?
Barcelona may have to impose lockdown restrictions again in the next two weeks as the Covid-19 infection rate continues to rise.
Catalonia’s regional health ministry has reported a daily increase of 944 cases, although this isn’t high enough for a compulsory lockdown to be imposed yet.
A lockdown would see millions of residents confined to their homes once again - unless the infection rate begins to decrease.
The warning, which has come from the chief of Catalonia’s coronavirus monitoring unit, could endanger the recent reopening of the tourism industry.
On Friday 17 July, more than four million people in the Barcelona metropolitan area - including 1.6million in the city itself - were asked to stay at home unless it was absolutely necessary to go out, as part of a “voluntary lockdown”.
However, although some of the city’s streets were quiet, people were seen queuing up to get onto the beaches on Saturday 18 July, including holidaymakers.
In some cases, police had to close the beaches near Barcelona due to the large number of people congregating.
Gatherings of more than 10 people have now been banned, with cinemas, theatres and nightclubs being closed again.
Can I travel to Spain?
The State of Emergency in Spain ended on 21 June.
Spain’s borders are now open to European Union and Schengen-area countries, which means that British nationals no longer need to present a residency certificate to enter Spain.
On 4 July, Spain became exempt from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) advice against all non-essential international travel, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.
This means Brits can currently travel to Spain on holiday.
However, it’s not yet known what measures could be put into place for holidaymakers if the city of Barcelona is put back under a compulsory lockdown.
What is the current FCO travel advice for Spain?
Travel to Spain from the UK is subject to entry restrictions.
On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate.
However, the FCO explains that travellers will be subject to the following three requirements:
- Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19 48 hours prior to travel.
You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. It is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign the online form related to your trip, regardless of your nationality or residency status.
On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show, either electronically or in hardcopy, at airport health controls on arrival.
- Temperature check
- Undergo a visual health assessment
Anyone who presents symptoms or fails one of the above requirements will then be seen by a health professional.