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"Returning tourists should self-isolate"

Belgium has modified its travel advice for Spain.  Part of Catalonia has gone into lockdown as a result of a coronavirus spike. Travel to Spain remains possible, but conditions will have to be met. Travel to the lockdown area is not possible. In the Belgian foreign ministry's traffic light warning system Spain goes from green to amber.

The Belgian foreign ministry says that there isn’t an issue with travel to areas of Spain outside Segrià, the county of Lleida Province (Catalonia) under lockdown. Visitors travelling to Spain by plane are obliged to fill in a form 48 hours prior to departure stating origin of the journey and whether or not they have been in contact with coronavirus.

Earlier today Belgian lead virologist Marc Van Ranst urged anybody who recently visited the area of Catalonia that is now going into lockdown to self-isolate.  The virologist points to the fact that in that part of Catalonia the transmission level is 35 times higher than in Belgium.  “The situation is worse than when Belgians returned from skiing holidays in Italy at half-term. Then we weren’t aware anybody was infected” Prof Van Ranst adds.

The Catalan authorities are putting 200,000 people under lockdown in and around the city of Lleida (Lerida), 150 km west of the capital Barcelona following a coronavirus flare-up.

Prof Van Ranst says that anybody who recently returned from the area should quarantine and get tested if even the mildest symptoms appear.

“We must map out the exact number of people (Belgians and Belgian residents) in the area as well as those who have returned. The outbreak is centred on four fruit growing businesses, but infections have also been recorded at a youth hostel.  Any returning tourists should be extra vigilant.”

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