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Spain and Portugal adopt tough measures to curd Covid-19 increase

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Spain will close bars and restaurants across Catalonia for the next 15 days following a surge in cases, as the country tackles one of the highest rates of infection in Europe, with nearly 900,000 cases and more than 33,000 deaths.

All bars and restaurants in the region will be limited to a takeaway and delivery service for two weeks from Thursday night.

Shops and markets will operate at 30% capacity, gyms, cinemas and theatres at 50%, and children’s play areas will close at 8pm.The strict measure comes after the weekly total cases in Catalonia rose from 7,000 to 11,000 over the course of a few days.

Tough measures are also to be introduced in Portugal from Thursday as the country reported a new record in cases. Gatherings will be limited to five people.

Weddings and baptisms can be attended by a maximum of 50, but university parties will be banned. Fines for businesses which do not comply with the rules will be doubled from an upper limit of 5,000 to 10,000 euros.

The prime minister, Antonio Costa, will also submit a proposal to parliament to make face masks compulsory in crowded outdoor spaces, and use of the government’s tracing app StayAway Covid compulsory for some workforces.

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