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Is it right that travellers from all Spanish regions quarantine for two weeks?
28 July 2020, 14:54
Is it right that travellers from all regions of Spain quarantine for two weeks? Data journalist John Burn-Murdoch explains why it is essential.
Boris Johnson has warned there are signs of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe, as he defended a 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain.
Speaking in Nottingham, he said the UK must be "vigilant" in preventing another spike.
Data journalist John Burn-Murdoch said, "There are clearly rises in infections going on in many countries in Europe now and Spain is very much one of them.
"Spain is seeing one of the most sustained and rapidly rising rates in new infections. Yes there are differences within any given country, that's true of Spain, the places like the Canaries and the Balearics are seeing fewer cases than others.
"I don't think it's unreasonable for Governments to be coming out with blanket bans on travel because when you consider the continent as a whole, and other countries beyond Europe, are seeing these resurgences in the virus, you can understand why Government want to take whatever precautions it can."
Mr Burn-Murdoch pointed out that many of the regions in Spain are having a resurgence, so to impose a localised quarantine could be nigh impossible.
While the north east of Spain has the majority of the spike, he continued that Madrid numbers are "considerably higher" and other parts of Spain are "well above the rate we're seeing in the UK."
It is the number of new cases "that matters above all else" which is worse in Wales and England than in Scotland and while people can still travel there, travelling internationally presents additional risks such as air travel.
However, for the benefit of the economy in the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands which are seeing very little infection, Mr Burn-Murdoch said he entirely understands why people are pushing for region-specific lockdown.
Shelagh asked the data journalist about the weekly infection rate in England: "Weekly in England now we're seeing just under 100 new cases per million people per week. Spain's figure is about three times as high as that and in some parts of Spain it is much much higher.
"England and Wales now as a whole have some of the lowest new infection rates in the whole of Europe."
He noted that Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania are seeing an increase in cases, although the size of the population matters when these figures are being interpreted.