Meetings in hotels, boats and music festivals have contributed to the outbreak of the new COVID-19 virus in many regions of Spain. The source is the young people who went to Mallorca to celebrate the end of the school year and rest after their exams.
End-of-school trips to Mallorca, Spain, have identified more than 700 cases of COVID-19 in several regions Spain. According to the authorities, 245 infected young people have been reported in the Madrid region alone, and about 2,000 have been placed in quarantine. The departures took place between June 18-20.
Apart from Madrid, at least 70 cases have been recorded in Galicia, 126 in the Basque Country, 67 in the Valencia region, 20 in Murcia, 11 in Castilla-La Mancha, 10 in Aragon and 44 in Catalonia. In Andalusia, 476 students who traveled to Mallorca were isolated and underwent PCR testing.
Pass the ball… get injured?
Young people came to Mallorca to celebrate success in university entrance exams. They have stayed in nine different hotels on the island and have been involved, according to the authorities, in “fairly intense activities, including festivals”. They’ve taken part in a beach festival of reggaeton (often sung or rapped in Spanish) and on boats. The police boycotted the festival because all security measures were ignored.
“The Balearic government has identified many outbreaks,” said regional tourism chief Iago Nigueruela. He pointed out that the trips were organized by travel agencies from other regions of the country, and that some of their activities might violate sanitary and epidemiological safety. “This kind of practice cannot be tolerated,” Nigerwela commented.
El Pais journalists stated that the regional government will ask the central authorities to take legal action against travel agencies that organized or participated in such activities.
“Many students in the Madrid region who stayed in hotels under investigation admitted to ignoring the rules to cover their noses and mouths with masks,” said Elena Andradas, director general of public health for the Madrid region.
“super diffusion state”
“This epidemic can be treated as a super-spreading event,” said Tony Trilla, head of the epidemiology department at a teaching hospital in Barcelona. He noted that it is very difficult to trace these cases of infection, as “it is impossible to know who has been in contact with the infected students.”
The Balearic Islands Regional Health Ministry said that no case related to youth-adult holidays has been detected in the region so far. There were also no reports of any injuries among the hotel staff in which there were infected persons.
Previously closed nightclubs opened in the area as part of a pilot program this weekend, but with restrictions. They can stay open until 2 am. Indoor and outdoor dancing is not allowed. Bar sales are also prohibited. Despite these restrictions, recordings shared on social media show events in Mallorca where you can see crowds of young people. These are the so-called botellones, or the habits of spontaneous meeting in the fresh air with a bottle of alcohol and music.
The Department of Health is considering mass testing for students who are currently vacationing on the largest island in the Balearic Islands.
Spanish media reported that nearly 12,000 students from different regions of the country come to Mallorca every year to spend a few days at the beach and at parties to celebrate the end of the school year.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that in response to the increase in new confirmed cases, a special cell of the Spanish government decided not to organize similar trips due to “the high risk of transmission of the virus”.
The decision was announced before the UK put the Balearic Islands on the so-called green list. Being there means that for those returning to the islands, there is no obligation to quarantine for ten days, while maintaining the principle of PCR testing. A decision to put this area on the list is expected on Wednesday, 30 June.
To enter the Balearic Islands, travelers from most Spanish regions are required to submit a negative PCR or antigen test. These rules do not apply to travelers from Valencia, Murcia, Galicia, Extremadura and the North African cities of Ceuta and Melilla, reports El Pais newspaper.
This week in Spain, the requirement to wear masks outdoors is no longer in force. The new law went into effect despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in most of the country’s autonomous communities.
Main image source: stock struggle
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