European nations warn citizens not to visit Spain amid COVID-19 resurgence

The latest:

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  • Health experts ask Ottawa to decide on funding domestic vaccine trial.
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Nightclubs, bars and beaches — some of Spain’s most beloved summer venues — are facing new lockdown restrictions after turning into coronavirus hot spots, and some European nations are warning citizens not to visit the country.

The northeast regions of Catalonia and Aragon host the three most worrying virus clusters in Spain, prompting authorities to tighten restrictions in Barcelona, in a rural area around Lleida, and in Zaragoza that were relaxed only a month ago when Spain had its devastating outbreak in check.

Britain put Spain back on its unsafe list beginning Sunday, announcing hours earlier that travellers arriving in the U.K. from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days. Norway also ordered a 10-day quarantine for those returning from the Iberian Peninsula. France and Belgium are recommending that travellers ditch plans to spend their summer vacations in Barcelona and its nearby beaches, which have seen crowds too massive to allow for physical distancing.

Spain reported over 900 new daily infections on Thursday and Friday as authorities warned that the country that lost at least 28,400 lives before getting its outbreak under control could be facing the start of a second major onslaught.

Spanish flags used as physical distancing signage are seen at a beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on Sunday. (Joan Mateu/The Associated Press)

Catalonia ordered all nightlife venues to close for 15 days and applied a midnight curfew on bars in and around Barcelona and Lleida, hours after French Prime Minister Jean Castex urged French citizens not to visit Catalonia due to the upticks in new infections.

“If we see that the growth of contagion is exponential, then the only way to stop it is to limit free movement,” said Catalonia public health chief Josep Maria Argimon.

Catalonia’s regional government, run by separatists who had complained about Spain’s centralization of the health crisis from March to June, is struggling to tamp down on the growing clusters that have overwhelmed Spain’s undermanned contact tracing teams.

Spain was negotiating with the U.K. to lift the quarantine on travellers returning from the Balearic and Canary Islands, which have an even greater dependence on tourism. Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said the islands are “highly controlled territories” that are doing better in the pandemic now than the U.K.

France said there’s no need yet to shut its border with Spain. The U.K. and France sent a combined 4.2 million tourists to Spain in August 2019.

People have their temperatures taken before attending a mass at Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia on Sunday. (Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite the worrying trends, authorities tried to send a message of calm.

“Like other European countries, Spain has outbreaks, that is not unusual,” Gonzalez Laya said.

“The important thing is that Spain is making a huge effort to control these outbreaks.”

What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada

As of 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada has seen 113,911 confirmed coronavirus cases. There are 5,600 active cases overall in the provinces and territories, with 99,355 listed as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting indicates that 8,919 Canadians have died.

Canadian charities are seeing a major drop in fundraising and participation in their running events due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Public health orders have restricted large gatherings of people throughout the spring and summer, so charities like the Canadian Cancer Society can’t hold formal events like the Run for the Cure — with opening and closing events or an official race day.

The organization says it has half the participation in its runs compared to this time last year and expects to bring in half as much revenue.

WATCH | Young people may feel they’re ‘done’ with pandemic protocols:

Registered social worker and psychotherapist Saretta Herman explains why young adults are heading to house parties and bars despite the risk of coronavirus. 5:03

Ontario reported 137 new cases Sunday — down from 138 on Saturday — for a total of 38,680 cases.

Twenty-seven of Ontario’s public health units were reporting five or fewer cases, with 14 of them reporting no new cases at all.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 58 per cent of the new cases reported on Sunday involve people under the age of 40.

Quebec reported 169 new cases Sunday — down from 171 new confirmed infections reported on Saturday — for a total of 55,583.

People wear face masks as they exit a metro station in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Newfoundland and Labrador recorded one new confirmed case on Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 266. There are four known active cases in the province.

What’s happening in the rest of the world

In the Americas, U.S. President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in the Senate are set to unveil a $1 trillion US coronavirus relief bill on Monday that includes reduced federal unemployment benefits, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying he believes they can work with Democrats to move quickly on the legislation.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in Latin America for the first time have surpassed the combined infections in the U.S. and Canada, a Reuters tally showed on Sunday, amid a surge of infections in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

A worker disinfects their hands prior to a soccer match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Sunday. (Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

In Asia-Pacific, Australia’s Victoria state recorded 10 deaths overnight from COVID-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing surge in coronavirus cases.

Vietnam reintroduced physical distancing measures in the central city of Danang after the country reported four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past two days.

South Korean baseball fans flocked to stadiums on Sunday for the first time this year. All fans have to wear masks, have their temperatures checked, provide contact details and physically distance in the stands. No food or alcohol is allowed, meaning no sales of fan favourites, beer and chicken.

Baseball fans enjoy the KBO League game between the LG Twins and Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In Africa, the continent now has more than 828,000 cases, more than half of which are in South Africa, which reported more than 12,000 new cases on Sunday.

South Africa is one of the world’s worst affected countries, with more than 434,200 confirmed cases and 6,655 deaths.

The World Health Organization has said more than 10,000 health workers in Africa have been infected, many of them nurses, further challenging efforts to contain the virus’s spread.

The coffin of a COVID-19 victim is carried during a funeral proceeding in Johannesburg on Sunday. (Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images)

In Europe, health authorities in North Macedonia reported that confirmed cases of the coronavirus surged above 10,000, meaning that almost 0.5 per cent of the population of 2.1 million has been infected.

Serbia has reported 467 new cases, a record for a daily increase. 

Numbers of new infections spiked after the Balkan country fully relaxed lockdown measures in May that critics say was a manoeuvre to pave the way for a parliamentary vote in June.

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