A vacation island in the Canaries had to close its beaches after being hit by a second wave of coronavirus.
El Hierro had previously only recorded a handful of cases and no deaths.
But a second wave of the virus has left at least 40 people infected – prompting local authorities to take urgent action.
Local President Alpidio Armas today announced new preventive measures which include, among other things, a ban on the use of the island’s bathing areas.
El Hierro – a vacation island in the Canaries – had to close its beaches after being hit by a second wave of coronavirus
He said: “Early intervention has proven to be a fundamental tool in preventing the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus in El Hierro.”
“In this sense, health protection measures have been taken, in each area of competence, in order to reduce and prevent risky contacts between citizens in connection with Covid-19. “
The island is the second smallest of the popular Canary Islands and attracts tourists looking for a more serene vacation in beautiful surroundings.
Health chiefs are sorry their good record has been achieved and want to take decisive action to prevent further spread.
The measures imposed immediately also include the closure of public spaces; restriction of access to residences for the elderly; suspension of all kinds of cultural, social and sports activities organized by the government of the island and closure of libraries and educational centers.
Parks and markets have also been closed, as well as children’s play areas.
El Hierro Island (file image) had previously only recorded a handful of cases and no deaths
Mr Armas said that the mayors of the three municipalities of Valverde, La Frontera and El Pinar had met to urgently agree on the new regulations “in order to reduce and prevent risky contacts between citizens in relation to the COVID-19 ”.
El Hierro’s government team claim to be in close contact with the Canary Islands government due to the proximity of the planned reopening of schools on September 15.
The Canaries – having had a low incidence of coronavirus and deaths in the first wave – are currently experiencing a record level of diagnoses and Lanzarote and Gran Canaria have warned of localized lockdowns if the level does not drop.
Today, the archipelago added 297 more cases, bringing the total to 7,106.
El Hierro also called for security reinforcements and army personnel to help disinfect public spaces.
Local President Alpidio Armas today announced new preventive measures which include, among others, a ban on the use of the island’s bathing areas (file image)
Gran Canaria has accumulated 3,702 coronavirus cases – of which 2,899 are still active. This represents 68% of the total active cases on the islands.
Tenerife has 2,380 cases of which 782 are still active.
Lanzarote has 429 active cases and 551, Fuerteventura with a total of 277 of which 121 are still active.
La Palma has 141 cases and 22 are still active. El Hierro has 37 active cases out of a total of 40 and La Gomera has 15 cases of which 6 are still active.
Canarian President Angel Victor Torres said the islands are doing all they can to avoid further lockdowns, with the next ten to 14 days being crucial to see if extensive new regulations hurt the numbers.