Catalonia slows movement of 200,000 people after new coronavirus outbreaks

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Health workers are seen at the emergency entrance to Arnau hospital in Vilanova after the Catalan government imposed new restrictions to control a new epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lleida, Spain, on July 4, 2020. REUTERS / Nacho Doce

LLEIDA (Reuters) – Police at roadblocks warned motorists that they were entering a lockout area on Saturday as the northeast region of Spanish Catalonia re-imposed restrictions on more than 200,000 people following several new coronavirus epidemics.

Residents of S├ęgria, which includes the city of Lleida, will not be able to leave the area from midday (1000 GMT) on Saturday, but they will not have to stay at home as was the case during the initial locking of Spain.

While the police stopped the cars in the direction of Lleida, some drivers decided to turn around to avoid getting stuck in the city.

“We decided to confine Segria due to data confirming that the number of COVID-19 infections has grown too much,” Catalan regional president Quim Torra said at a press conference.

Data from the regional health ministry showed that there were 3,706 cases on Friday in the Lleida region, compared to 3,551 the day before.

Catalonia is one of the most affected regions in Spain, with a total of 72,860 cases of coronavirus, according to data from the regional health ministry published on Friday.

Residents of Lleida will be allowed to go to work outside of the city, but starting Tuesday, workers entering or leaving the containment zone will need to present a certificate from their employer.

Spain has registered 205,545 cases of coronavirus and 28,385 deaths, making it one of the most affected countries in Europe.

After imposing a strict lockdown on March 14, the government has gradually eased restrictions in a phased plan since early May.

Reports by Luis Felipe Castilleja, Jordi Rubio and Nacho Doce; Written by Jessica Jones; Editing by Alexander Smith and Helen Popper

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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