Spanish tourist hotspot shuts down its nightclubs after coronavirus cases spike

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
Tourists walk at the resort of Magaluf on the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain, Thursday morning, July 16, 2020. Authorities in Spain's Balearic Islands are pulling the plug on endless drunken nights to the beat of techno music by closing bars and nightclubs in beachfront areas popular with young and foreign visitors. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)
Some nightclubs in Spain have been shut following local coronavirus outbreaks (AP Photo)

A Spanish tourist hotspot has shut down its nightclubs after a surge in coronavirus cases.

The city of Gandia, near Valencia on the Costa Blanca, has closed its clubs following an outbreak, El Pais reported.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the coastal city increased to 70 on Saturday, a rise of 21 from Friday.

Regional health chief Ana Barcelo said most of the 20 outbreaks in the region are linked to nightclubs, bars, parties and young people.

She said: “We are enormously worried that more cases could continue appearing due to night-life activities.”

Nightclubs in Gandia must remain closed until at least August, authorities said, while bars must shut at 10pm.

Separately, an end-of-school event on 10 July at a nightclub in Cordoba, in the southern region of Andalusia, has been blamed for a rise in infections.

Meanwhile, the beaches of Barcelona were packed with people at the weekend even as the city was forced back into lockdown after a surge in coronavirus cases.

People enjoy the sunny weather at Barceloneta beach, after Catalonia's regional authorities and the city council announced restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Barcelona, Spain July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
The packed Barceloneta beach in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday. (Reuters)

Thousands of sun-seekers ignored pleas from the Catalan authorities to stay at home in one of Spain’s regions worst-hit from COVID-19.

Access to beaches in Barcelona had to be closed on Saturday and Sunday after too many people took to the sand.

Police patrolled Barceloneta beach and closed it off to new bathers on Sunday afternoon after it reached capacity. Long queues of people formed to gain access to the beach.

People queue to enter the beach, after Catalonia's regional authorities and the city council announced restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Barcelona, Spain July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
People queue to enter a beach in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday. (Reuters)

Barcelona went back into lockdown on Saturday, with gatherings of more than 10 people banned.

On Sunday, Catalonia’s regional health ministry reported 944 new cases over a 24-hour period, after recording more than 1,200 the previous day.

About 4 million people were advised to only leave home for essential trips, but that did not stop the city’s beaches from being overwhelmed.

"Staying at home in the summer is stifling and stressful," said beachgoer Felipe, 24, who wore a face mask.

Read more: Record number of coronavirus cases reported worldwide for second day in a row

"I work five days a week and can't spend every day at home. My mental health comes first.”

Spain was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe by coronavirus and emerged from a national lockdown on 21 June.

People enjoy the sunny weather at Barceloneta beach, after Catalonia's regional authorities and the city council announced restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Barcelona, Spain July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
People enjoy the sunny weather at Barceloneta beach in Spain on Sunday. (Reuters)

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 260,000 cases in Spain and more than 28,000 deaths.

Since national lockdown ended, there have been more than 180 outbreaks across Spain.

The new lockdown measures in Barcelona mean bars and restaurants may remain open but must provide just 50% capacity and two metres between tables outside.

Spanish health minister Salvador Illa urged Barcelona residents to follow the guidelines.

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