Barcelona residents flocked to the city’s beaches, defying government instructions to stay home following the Catalan regional government’s decision to “lock it in”.
On Friday, more than four million people in the Barcelona metropolitan area, including 1.6 million in the city itself, were asked to stay in their homes unless it is absolutely necessary to go out due to a peak coronavirus infections.
However, sun seekers were seen lining up to go to the beaches on Saturday despite concerns raised by the regional government about the increase in cases.
The Sunseekers gathered on the beaches of Barcelona on Saturday two days after the regional government of Catalonia put the area back in lockdown due to an increase in coronavirus cases
Residents even lined up to go to the beaches despite being told by authorities to stay at home whenever possible
The police were forced to close the beaches near Barcelona due to the large number of people gathering in popular areas.
Although some officers were caught standing, many residents took advantage of the 82 degrees F (28 ° C) weather that graced the popular Spanish town.
The decision to put Barcelona back on lockdown comes four weeks after Spain ended its state of emergency following 28,400 coronavirus-related deaths in the country of 47 million people.
Two women watch Barcelona residents ignore government instructions to stay safe following increased cases in Catalonia and Barcelona regions
Police then watch as the beaches are crowded with residents on Saturday, although officers have managed to separate large congregations because of the new boards.
Almost 1,300 additional people were confirmed or suspected of carrying the virus in Catalonia on Thursday, the highest number of daily infections in weeks.
The city of Barcelona, with a population of 1.6 million, is where most of the new cases have been identified, according to the region’s health department.
The streets of Barcelona were empty on Saturday after the last call to return to lockdown.
Gatherings of more than 10 people have now been banned while cinemas, theaters and nightclubs have once again been closed.
The streets of Barcelona were empty this weekend as the Catalan regional government decided to put the city in a “voluntary lockdown” at a peak in cases
Popular areas of Barcelona, including the port (photo), have received very few visitors with more than four million people invited to stay at home if necessary
The beaches of Barcelona (photo) were also deserted this weekend due to the lockout caused by a second peak of infections
The Catalan government has also encouraged people to shop online when possible and restaurants have had to cut the number of customers they receive by half.
Spain’s initial lockdown resulted in a major weakening of the economy, with the tourism industry seeking to take advantage of the sunny summer weather to recoup some of the losses suffered by the global pandemic.
Yet the Sagrada Familia, the city’s most famous monument, received very few tourists on Saturday, and many exciting visitors were disappointed to see it closed after the second lockout this week.
Residents of Barcelona have been ordered not to leave their homes and must shop online except in an emergency. Nearly 1,300 more people were confirmed or suspected to be carriers of the virus in Catalonia on Thursday
Two men wearing face masks walk through Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona on Saturday after the region’s second lockdown
The city’s Boqueria market also received very few visitors is a blow to the Catalan economy
Barcelona restaurants and bars have also been ordered to accommodate only half the usual number of visitors, while cinemas, theaters and nightclubs have once again been closed.
The Sagrada Familia (photo), one of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions, welcomed very few tourists this weekend
One possible reason for the empty streets of Barcelona could be the idea that many Barcelona residents have chosen to leave the city on weekends to go to second homes in areas that are not closed.
The regional government has encouraged residents of Barcelona not to do so in order to prevent the spread of the virus, but traffic authorities have revealed that 350,000 vehicles have left for the coast.
Barcelona’s’ coronavirus chief ‘Dr Jacobo Mendioroz called the residents’ decision a’ mistake ‘and warned that mandatory house arrest could be the next step in the attempt to prevent the virus from spreading. spread.
Police monitored the streets of the port of Barcelona as rallies of 10 people were banned by the regional government
Residents have always chosen to take to the streets of Barcelona despite advice to stay at home, as popular areas such as Las Ramblas (pictured) have welcomed visitors wearing face masks
The city of Barcelona has 1.6 million inhabitants, while the total number of inhabitants of the city’s metropolitan area is around four million.
The decision to return to the lockdown is a blow to the regional independence government of Catalonia, which itself has criticized the central authorities in Madrid for not being better prepared against the virus.
Catalonia and the neighboring region of Aragon, where coronavirus cases have also increased, are now of most concern for Spanish authorities, as they monitor more than 150 virus clusters across the country.
In total, Catalonia has recorded 79,595 coronavirus infections and 6,913 deaths, out of a national total of nearly 259,000 cases and 28,416 deaths.