As coronavirus cases continued to mount in Spain, parliament has approved a €16 billion aid package


As coronavirus cases continued to mount in Spain, parliament has approved a €16 billion aid package to help regions cover the health, social and educational expenses of the pandemic.

Economy Minister Nadia Calviño said the funds allocated to fight the social and economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 crisis now total 5% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Central and regional authorities have also agreed to take steps to protect fruit pickers in Spain, after several coronavirus outbreaks were detected among groups of seasonal workers in Aragón and elsewhere.

Yesterday Spanish health authorities reported four deaths from Covid-19 and 390 confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours, the worst figures since the end of confinement on June 21.

After forcing several Catalan municipalities back into partial confinement, coronavirus is now close to Barcelona.

Mayor Ada Colau has met regional authorities to discuss the situation in the Catalan capital, where the number of detected cases has tripled in a week.

Colau is not ruling out restrictive measures similar to the ones recently reintroduced in parts of the nearby city of L’Hospitalet, where theaters, cinemas and gyms have been closed and capacity reduced at bars.

Today the Basque Country is joining a growing list of regions to make face masks mandatory in public at all times.

Nekane Murga, the Basque health chief, said people are becoming complacent about safety measures and that stricter rules will be introduced if the attitudes persist, particularly outside bars, where there have been cases of binge drinking by large groups of people.