29 Oct 2020
As a result of the increasing coronavirus restrictions in Spain, the La Rioja region has closed its restaurants and bars in its two largest towns for a month. The measures were taken in order to try to mitigate the impact of the outbreak.
Speaking at a news conference, regional leader Concha Andreu said, “Experts tell us the outbreaks come mostly from relaxing in closed spaces...when we consume food and drinks and take off our masks.”
Spain experienced the highest toll in the second wave of the pandemic, with cumulative infections increasing by 18,418 reaching 1.12 million. Additionally, the number of deaths increased by 267.
The country has also enforced a nationwide curfew. Ignacio Aguado, the deputy head of the Madrid regional government supported the decision to go into a lockdown.
La Rioja’s capital Logrono and those in Arnedo will be placed into lockdown, amounting to over the half region’s 300,000 population. Citizens are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons only.
Other regions are considering taking similar approaches, with the Catalonia regional government hinting at harsher measures. Some speculate that the region’s bars and restaurants could remain shut down for a long period.
The minority central government, regional authorities and the opposition have not been in agreement about the handling of the pandemic.