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Coronavirus: Spain imposes local lockdown in second region

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A member of the Catalan regional police force Mossos d'Esquadra controls a checkpoint on the road leading to Lleida on July 4, 2020
A member of the Catalan regional police force Mossos d'Esquadra controls a checkpoint on the road leading to Lleida on July 4, 2020   -   Copyright  PAU BARRENA/AFP
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Spain has reinstated restrictions in a second region following an increase in new coronavirus cases.

A Marina district in the Galicia region, located on Spain’s northwest, will see lockdown measures reintroduced from midnight on Sunday.

Around 70,000 people will be banned from leaving the area.

Gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed and the capacity of indoor public places will be revised down.

"Currently we have 106 positive cases, which represents an increase of 21 cases since yesterday," regional health official Jesus Vazquez said at a press conference.

The measures will in place for five days after which authorities will reassess the situation.

The move follows a decision on Saturday to put over 200,000 people in El Segriá, located in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, back into lockdown.

People who were not residents of the county were allowed to leave before 16:00 CET, after which exits and entries were restricted to essential workers, according to Catalonia's civil protection authorities.

"Other measures to restrict activities and mobility may be established within the Segrià region," Spanish authorities said.

There are nearly 4,000 cases in the city of Lleida, which has a population of under 150,000. Health officials in Catalonia said the data showed "a higher incidence" in the county compared to the rest of Spain, with new hospitalisations over the past week.

Residents are recommended to stay where they live and to only travel for essential purposes.

The region of Catalonia has had the highest number of new cases in Spain over the past two weeks with nearly 1,400 confirmed cases. Lleida is located just 160 kilometres west of Barcelona.

Several European countries have recently reopened after issuing strict lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain had issued a strict lockdown for three months from March and has suffered from one of the largest outbreaks in Europe, with more than 250,000 cases and 28,000 deaths.

As European countries reopen, authorities are still working to combat the virus by testing and tracing contacts of positive cases. Authorities plan to issue local lockdowns in the event that coronavirus cases increase in a certain geographic area.