Yesterday, authorities in northeast Spain dramatically ordered the lockdown of El Segria county around the city of Lleida, home to over 200,000 people, after health officials recorded a surge in cases over 24 hours.
Residents in the Spanish city of Lleida awoke today saddened and demoralised after the county of El Segria was thrust back in lockdown yesterday. The mood is solemn in the town today, hardly any movement at all and very, very quiet. No one knows when the lockdown will be lifted and the grim reality of life in lockdown returns.
The quarantine began Saturday at 12 noon (1000 GMT) and residents of the now quarantined region had until 4 p.m. local time (1400 UTC/GMT) to return to their place of residence. It is understood that many didn’t and have to stay at friends or keep out of the region, waiting for the all-clear to return.
After that, no one was authorized to travel or leave Lleida and surrounding communities in the west of the province except to go to work. Police have set up checkpoints on all access roads in and out of the city.
“We have decided to confine the Segria zone following data confirming a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections,” Catalonia’s regional president Quim Torra said.
The government has said people can enter the region until 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) Saturday. After that, no one will be allowed to leave or enter the area unless for essential purposes like work. Catalan President Quim Torra called the decision “difficult” in a press conference but said the decision came after a “notable growth in COVID-19 cases.”
The Catalan Health Ministry confirmed 4,030 cases of COVID-19 in the province of Lleida on Friday, an increase of 60 from Thursday.
Sangria, in the northeast of Spain, borders the Spanish region of Aragon, which actually became the first Spanish region to declare local lockdowns since the country’s state of emergency came to an end on June 21.
The outbreaks in Lleida involve fruit-picking businesses, an apartment building, a nursing home, and a shelter for homeless people.