Madrid is to go into lockdown in coming days after the region’s leader reluctantly agreed on Thursday to obey a central government order to ban non-essential travel in the Spanish capital that is Europe’s worst COVID-19 hotspot. The Madrid region has 859 cases per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), during a resurgence of the coronavirus in Spain, which was one of the worst-hit countries during the first wave.
Protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid to demonstrate against strict new lockdown measures which have come into force. Thousands of men, women and children rallied in the southern districts of the Spanish capital. The new COVID-19 measures have been introduced by the Spanish government as infection rates exceed one in 100 people in some of Madrid’s worst-affected areas in the city and its outskirts.
Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has gone to the Dominican Republic after leaving his home country under a cloud of scandal, Spanish newspapers said on Tuesday. The royal palace announced on Monday that Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 over a previous scandal, was leaving so that his personal affairs would not affect his son Felipe’s reign. The palace did not say where the 82-year-old had gone.
Spain is fighting to save its embattled tourism industry after the UK government imposed a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the country. Government officials insist the virus is under control and want certain areas to be exempt from the UK self-isolation order, including the Balearic Islands. About 18 million Britons traveled to Spain in 2019 – almost a quarter of all arrivals in the country.
Foreign visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July, the government has announced. It said the measure had been finalized in a cabinet meeting on Monday. The news comes as the UK government prepares to bring in its own 14-day quarantine policy from 8 June. Spain normally attracts 80 million tourists a year, with the sector providing more than 12% of the country’s GDP.
Spain hopes to welcome tourists starting in “late June,” according to the country’s transportation minister. The government last week introduced a 14-day quarantine period for visitors entering the country, saying it was necessary to avoid a second peak of COVID-19 infections. José Luis Ábalos now says the two-week quarantine will be phased out and travel restrictions will be gradually lifted.
Spain’s King Felipe VI has renounced his personal inheritance from his father and stripped the former king Juan Carlos of his annual stipend after it was alleged that Felipe VI was poised to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia. The former head of state abdicated in 2014, after a series of scandals sent his popularity plummeting.
Millions of Spanish mobile phone users are being tracked this week as part of the government’s census, in a move that critics fear is a step closer towards spying on the population. Statistics agency INE insists the eight-day project is anonymous and aimed at getting a better idea of where Spaniards go during the day and night.
A violent storm that has ravaged parts of Spain with heavy rain and violent winds has left at least 13 people dead. Spanish authorities said four people were still missing after Storm Gloria triggered floods and swept away roads. Storm Gloria swept into the Balearic Islands – which include the holiday island of Majorca – last weekend with torrential rain whipped up by winds of 100km/h (62mph).
A submarine believed to be carrying around 3.5 tonnes of cocaine has been towed into port after being intercepted off the Spanish coast. It sank as police tried to intercept it in the Aldan inlet in the Galicia region at the weekend. It’s believed the crew tried to sink it on purpose. Two Ecuadorian nationals have been arrested but another person managed to escape.