Barcelona Residents Asked to ‘Stay at Home’, Israel Returns to Partial Lockdown

Catalonia’s regional government has asked millions of people to “stay at home” as the area experienced a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

It is not a legal order, but instead a “strong recommendation” intended to control contagion and avoid a full-blown lockdown.

The authorities notified 1,300 new daily cases on Thursday, most of them in Barcelona and the metropolitan area.

Around four million people in the Barcelona metropolitan area have been requested to only leave home for essential reasons, with cinemas, theatres and nightclubs also closing.

Restaurants and bars are now limited to half capacity, a ban on visits to elderly people’s homes has been implemented.

The Catalan government also announced new social distancing measures for 15 days that will limit gatherings to 10 people.

The measures concern the city of Barcelona and its surrounding areas, towns and cities and will initially be in place for two weeks.

Until the measures are finalized, both city and regional authorities agree that the situation in the Catalan capital is worrying. “We have started to have cases in other neighborhoods of Barcelona that are further away from the outbreak zone,” said Jacobo Mendioroz, the head of the Covid-19 monitoring unit in Catalonia.


Israel has reimposed some lockdown measures following a vigorous second surge in the number of coronavirus infections, putting in place stringent weekend shutdowns in which shops, hairdressers and attractions will be closed.

Gyms and fitness studios will also be closed at all times, while restaurants, which opened again in May, will return to takeaways and deliveries only. All indoor gatherings of 10 or more people will be banned.

Tighter restrictions will also be introduced including the closure of stores, beauty salons, museums and tourist attractions on the weekends. Starting later this month, beaches will also be closed to the public on weekends, the government said.

“We are making every effort to avoid a general lockdown,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Thursday evening Cabinet meeting.

“Since daily infections nearly hit 1,800 cases and the number of seriously ill doubles every seven days, I have spoken to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, NSC chief Meir Ben Shabbat, and Science Minister Yizhar Shai, about taking short-term steps to avoid a general lockdown,” added Netanyahu.



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