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Virus spike in Spain prompts UK, France to warn off tourists

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Virus spike in Spain prompts UK, France to warn off tourists

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Nightclubs, bars and beaches — some of Spain’s most beloved summer venues — are facing new lockdown restrictions after turning into coronavirus hot spots, and some European nations are warning citizens not to visit the country.

The northeast regions of Catalonia and Aragón host the three most worrying virus clusters in Spain, prompting authorities to tighten restrictions in Barcelona, in a rural area around Lleida and in Zaragoza that were relaxed only a month ago when Spain had its devastating outbreak in check.

Britain put Spain back on its unsafe list beginning Sunday, announcing hours earlier that travelers arriving in the U.K. from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days. Norway also ordered a 10-day quarantine for those returning from the Iberian Peninsula. France and Belgium are recommending that travelers ditch plans to spend their summer vacations in Barcelona and its nearby beaches, which have seen crowds too massive to allow for social distancing.

Tui, the UK’s biggest tour operator, said Sunday it had cancelled all flights due to depart to mainland Spain until Aug. 9, but it has maintained flights and travel packages for trips to Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands.

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Travelers were caught off guard by Britain’s move — even U.K. Transport Minister Grant Shapps is on holiday in Spain.

“I think that it is extreme. If you only come for one day, no way,” José González, a Spaniard heading to his home in London, said at Madrid’s airport. “We will have to see what happens next. We will have to respect it and that’s that. You can’t do anything else.”

Spain reported over 900 new daily infections on […]

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