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Virus lockdown for parts of Spain's Palma de Mallorca

 

Agence France-Presse

Barcelona, Spain  /  Fri, September 11, 2020  /  10:38 am
Virus lockdown for parts of Spain's Palma de Mallorca

Tourists walk at General Garcia Ruiz street in Magaluf, Calvia, in Spain's Balearic island of Majorca on July 16, 2020. (AFP/Jaime Reina)

Spain's Balearic Islands region said Thursday it will impose restrictions on over 20,000 people in tourism hotspot Palma de Mallorca due to high numbers of confirmed coronavirus infections.

People living in four working class neighborhoods of Palma, located away from the city's historic center, will not be allowed out from 10 p.m. Friday except to go to work or school or seek medical care, the islands' regional government said in a statement.

Gyms and parks in the areas must close, while the capacity at bars, cafés and restaurants will be capped at 50 percent and they must shut their doors at 10 p.m. Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people.

While residents of the neighborhoods are not banned from leaving their homes, the regional government said it "discourages travel and non-essential activities".

The four densely populated neighborhoods are home to nearly 23,000 of Palma's 416,000 residents.

Read also: Germany alarmed at tourists partying in Mallorca

Regional health minister Patricia Gomez said the lockdown measures were needed because the four neighborhoods have the highest community transmission of COVID-19 in the Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean off Spain's east coast that includes the party island of Ibiza.

The neighborhoods recorded 496 coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the seven days leading up to Sept. 5, nearly three times the level for the entire island of Mallorca of which Palma is the capital.

The lockdown measures will last for a minimum of 15 days.

Spain on Monday became the first European Union nation to record more than half a million cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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