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 has reported 4,273 new cases of the coronavirus with 637 new deaths, the fourth day the daily totals have declined from the previous day. The total deaths in the country from COVID-19 as of Monday stands at 13,055 among 135,032 cases. The new numbers offer another glimmer of hope in Europe, after Italy on Sunday saw its death toll at its lowest in more than two weeks.
Spain has become the third country to confirm more cases of coronavirus than China – as its number of deaths rose by 812 in a day to reach a total of 7,340. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have increased by 6,398 since Sunday to reach 85,195 in total, Spain’s health ministry said. The country has now joined the United States and Italy in having more coronavirus cases than China.
A total of 3,434 coronavirus patients have now have died in Spain – more than the recorded number of deaths in China where the outbreak began. Spain now has the world’s second-highest tally of COVID-19 deaths after 738 more were reported on Wednesday, the country’s deadliest toll in one day. France – another of Europe’s worst-hit nations – also reported 231 more deaths over the same 24-hour period, taking its total to 1,331 deaths.
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.
A vast sandstorm from the Sahara has shrouded Spain’s Canary Islands, disrupting travel plans for tourists flying in and out. Airport operator Aena cancelled, suspended or diverted all flights to and from the islands at the weekend, citing low visibility. Strong winds have carried a dense cloud of sand from the Saharan desert, some 500km (300 miles) across the Atlantic Ocean.