Virus lockdown for parts of Spain's Palma de Mallorca

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Spain's Balearic Islands region said Thursday it will impose restrictions on over 20,000 people in tourism hotspot Palma de Mallorca due to high numbers of confirmed coronavirus infections.

People living in four working class neighbourhoods of Palma, located away from the city's historic centre, will not be allowed out from 10 pm Friday except to go to work or school or seek , the ' regional government said in a statement.

Gyms and parks in the areas must close, while the capacity at bars, cafés and restaurants will be capped at 50 percent and they must shut their doors at 10 pm. Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people.

While residents of the neighbourhoods are not banned from leaving their homes, the regional government said it "discourages travel and non-essential activities".

The four densely populated neighbourhoods are home to nearly 23,000 of Palma's 416,000 residents.

Regional health minister Patricia Gomez said the lockdown measures were needed because the four neighbourhoods have the highest community transmission of COVID-19 in the Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean off Spain's east coast that includes the party island of Ibiza.

The neighbourhoods recorded 496 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the seven days leading up to September 5, nearly three times the level for the entire island of Mallorca of which Palma is the capital.

The lockdown measures will last for a minimum of 15 days.

Spain on Monday became the first European Union nation to record more than half a million cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

© 2020 AFP

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