Spain’s Catalonia mulls weekend virus lockdowns

Spain’s Catalonia region said Monday it was studying imposing a lockdown on weekends to fight the spread of the coronavirus, a day after nighttime curfew came into effect across the country.

“It is a scenario which is on the table because it is during the weekend that there are more social interactions,” the spokeswoman for the regional government, Meritxell Budo, told Catalan public radio.

Infections have soared in recent days in the wealthy northeastern region, home to around 7.5 million people, as well as the rest of Spain, which last week became the first European Union nation to surpass one million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

To try to curb the infection rate Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Sunday declared a national state of emergency, and a curfew covering all of Spain except the Canary Islands where infections are lower.

He has said the government wants to avoid a repeat of the nationwide lockdown put in place in March during the first wave of the pandemic and only fully lifted in June.

Elsewhere in the world Israel, Ireland and Wales have recently imposed lockdowns confining people to their homes for all but essential reasons to fight the virus.

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