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UPDATE 1-'New outbreaks are the norm' says Spain as COVID-19 travel curbs pile up

Fri, 14th Aug 2020 21:30

(Writes through with minister interview)

By Isla Binnie

MADRID, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Outbreaks of the coronavirus are
happening across Europe and each country has to make its own
decisions on how to halt them, Spain's foreign minister said on
Friday as Germany declared most of her country a risk region.

Germany's decision followed a move by Britain to impose
quarantine on people returning from Spain, dealing a further
blow to hopes of a swift revival for tourism, which usually
accounts for around 12% of the Spanish economy.

"New outbreaks are the norm, they are not the exception, in
Spain or any other country in the European Union," Arancha
Gonzalez Laya told Reuters in an interview.

"Every country is taking measures to fight COVID ... that
they think are necessary to protect their citizens. We don't
question the measures other countries take."

Some regions within Spain itself have limited movement with
neighbouring areas to isolate flare-ups of the disease, "showing
that this is not a question of diplomacy or politics, it is a
question of epidemiology," she said.

Spain recorded almost 3,000 new cases on Friday, about
double the average in the first 12 days of August, bringing the
cumulative total to 342,813 - the highest in Western Europe.

Earlier on Friday, Spain announced a series of measures
limiting nightlife, including closing discotheques, cocktail
bars and dance halls.

Asked whether the limits on night-time leisure would have an
impact on tourism and on the economy, Gonzalez Laya said:

"The main question today is how do we make sure we limit
infection and the expansion of COVID in the country."
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; additional reporting by Jessica
Jones; editing by Andrei Khalip and Jonathan Oatis)

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