Covid-19 Spain

Old Mar 5, 2020, 5:28 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...-europeos.html

This has thrown a major spanner in my works. I had been planning on flying MAD-TLV on March 15. Looks like I might be hanging around here instead.
I assume you will want to move on at some point, so you might want to look at which countries are currently denying entry to those from Italy/Northern Italy, because its very likely that Spain will be on those same lists in the next week or so.
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Old Mar 5, 2020, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
I assume you will want to move on at some point, so you might want to look at which countries are currently denying entry to those from Italy/Northern Italy, because its very likely that Spain will be on those same lists in the next week or so.
Yes, I need to be back home in Austria soon. I'm certain that it won't be a problem to travel with the EU.
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Old Mar 5, 2020, 1:11 pm
  #18  
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LapLap, Thank you for the very useful and timely information. ned
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Old Mar 5, 2020, 10:44 pm
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I have plans to visit Madrid on March 17 and Barcelona at the end of March. Does this news mean that my travel plans are probably going to have to be scrapped?
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 12:25 am
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Originally Posted by AUCLABruin
I have plans to visit Madrid on March 17 and Barcelona at the end of March. Does this news mean that my travel plans are probably going to have to be scrapped?
It depends how worried you are. I am very likely to be in Barcelona in a couple of weeks and am not concerned.

However, it depends where you are coming from. If you live in a country whose authorities are panicking, and you are likely to be involuntarily quarantined on your return, maybe think twice.
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by AUCLABruin
I have plans to visit Madrid on March 17 and Barcelona at the end of March. Does this news mean that my travel plans are probably going to have to be scrapped?
Spain is particularly resistant to imposing controls . Travel bans are possible but, from what I have seen so far, they will be made under duress if deemed necessary.
There have been a few underlying concerns in the media that I have not covered, for instance where politicians have published advice and work protocols that have had to be withdrawn. This has led to a statement by the government/Moncloa that it is the experts in the Health Department who will dictate and lead Spanish policy.
I see a genuine attempt to apply evidence based reasoning to decisions in Spain. Alas, nobody can gain evidence from the future for today’s decisions, even if we feel we can confidently guess them.

Personally speaking, I see it as very likely that Spain will be in the same position as Italy was a week/less than a week ago by the time you travel.
I don’t think the numbers will stall as they have in Singapore, because of the attitudes against control that persist in Spain. (Japan is another story, but *cough, cough* assuming their data is true, a lot of people there are more isolated from older members of their families).

I don’t think the question is “can I travel”? But “will I be allowed to return?”. As I said before, look at the policies of your country now towards those returning from Italy (or even South Korea) and consider what it would be like to travel back with Spain on those lists.

We are in uncharted territory - this thread is an attempt to draw some kind of map of how we got there/here. I hope to help you make your own predictions, but any I come up with are worth the paper I have written them on.
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 1:23 am
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I agree with [MENTION=37887]LapLap[/MENTION]. The response in Spain has been, comparatively, very measured and level headed.

The biggest issue is the panic in countries you are planning to be in afterwards, as I have found to my cost. My planned trip to Israel has had to be cancelled after they imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on everyone arriving from Spain, in my view a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction, but it is what it is and Israel will still be there next year.

In the meantime, bookings in Barcelona have dropped sharply and I intend to enjoy the relatively peaceful streets and low room rates.
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 3:10 am
  #23  
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Friday 6th March

This belongs in yesterday’s post, but I only became aware of it today and that post is pretty crowded.

Summary is that just after the Authorities in Las Palmas (Canary Islands - specifically Gran Canaria) were made aware of their first Covid-19 case (a visiting Italian female) who is receiving Hospital treatment. They then learned that three of her companions were making their way back to Bergamo in Italy. The Civil Guard (who have more powers than the regular police) went straight to the airport to intercept them and collected the Italians, past customs controls airside, just before they boarded and they have been placed in “home” quarantine.
https://www.efe.com/efe/canarias/por...001319-4189267

1:15pm (CET) - 1st update
Madrid Community has recorded 137 Covid-19 cases and the death of an 87 year old this morning.
The statistics given this morning for the country by the Health Ministry are 345.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...de-madrid.html

5 deaths have now been registered In Spain. What has been discussed and acknowledged amongst the country’s Health leaders is that none of these registered deaths were people who would have been identified as having Covid-19 by the screening protocols that were in place from when they would have have originally contracted the virus until a week ago. This is of great concern as they are working on the assumption that it takes about a month between becoming infected and succumbing mortally in those who develop fatal complications. These five deaths tell them that there was already community transmission a month ago, well before the decision to “go looking under rocks” that was made at the end of February.
Turns out that the most communicative “rocks“ are at residences and day care centres for the old and infirm.

2pm (CET) - 2nd Update
La Vanguardia’s take on the latest recorded total of Covid-19 cases (they make it to be 390) is that the surge in numbers doesn’t translate into an increased risk to the majority of the population as they are related to the old people’s homes - three have now been identified as clusters (2 in Madrid, 1 in Vitoria/Basque region).
https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20...s-riesgos.html
It is inferred that precautions are being taken to isolate those in such centres from “outsiders”.

My own take on this is that anyone looking to travel to Spain to visit relatives in these kinds of homes should check to ensure they will be allowed to. There are many, many thousands of non-Spanish residents in assisted-living centres across the coastal regions who (it seems) will be effectively closed off from their families in Northern Europe - if not now, then soon.

6:40pm (CET) - 3rd update
Madrid has made the decision to close 213 Centres catering to old people for the next month to prevent new infections. The sixth Covid-19 related death happened in Madrid today.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html

The national number (according to the Government) is currently 374. There are 8 related deaths.

8:25pm (CET) - 4th update
Over 100 healthcare workers in Catalonia have been put into isolation as they potentially came into contact with an infected person. Information is still scarce on this, but this is a scenario (which removes vital workers from the front line) that makes all the Health Authorities in Spain very nervous.
https://elpais.com/Comentario/158351...5c6e3f9d6d52fb
The 100 healthcare workers are from the whole of Catalonia. Official figures for the whole of Spain estimate the total number of people in (observed?) quarantine at 500.

Very late - last update
Turns out that one event had a significant impact on the figures recently as well as affecting a very large number of hospital staff.
2 weeks ago there was a funeral at Vitoria (Basque region) and at least 60 people were infected at this one event which severely affected Health services in this region and in neighbouring La Rioja. Isolation measures prevented over a hundred health professionals from working at Hospitals in Vitoria as a result. It is not clear whether all the investigations relating to this have been concluded yet.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-vitoria.html

The 374 cases and 8 death numbers still hold for now. 13,000 tests have been completed.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...ue-oculta.html
this article explains that the reason Spain hasn’t moved from phase 1 (containment) to phase 2 (delay) is because 92% of the documented cases have been imported or related to imported cases.

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 6, 2020 at 5:57 pm
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 7:29 am
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Thank you so much for the detailed information. I will keep an eye out for any policies that the US puts out for Spain, but as long as they don't have a forcible quarantine than I will probably visit Spain.
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 7:53 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by LapLap
Friday 6th March

This belongs in yesterdays post, but I only became aware of it today and that post is pretty crowded.

Summary is that just after the Authorities in Las Palmas (Canary Islands - specifically Gran Canaria) were made aware of their first Covid-19 case (a visiting Italian female) who is receiving Hospital treatment. They then learned that three of her companions were making their way back to Bergamo in Italy. The Civil Guard (who have more powers than the regular police) went straight to the airport to intercept them and collected the Italians, past customs controls airside, just before they boarded and they have been placed in home quarantine.
https://www.efe.com/efe/canarias/por...001319-4189267
Ok - I just read the article that you linked. My Spanish is not fluent, but I caught the essence of it. This is a significant escalation in the response of the Spanish authorities. Up until now, the response has been rather measured, and I can say first hand that the general attitude on the street is rather laid back. ​​​​​This however, seems to show an uptick in the level of panic.
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Old Mar 6, 2020, 8:18 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer
Ok - I just read the article that you linked. My Spanish is not fluent, but I caught the essence of it. This is a significant escalation in the response of the Spanish authorities. Up until now, the response has been rather measured, and I can say first hand that the general attitude on the street is rather laid back. ​​​​​This however, seems to show an uptick in the level of panic.
I don’t see it as “panic” or an “uptick” at all, I view it as consistent with the “containment” approach still being followed in that region. As soon as a positive identification of Covid-19 is made, steps are taken to find possible related infections and isolate them. It just happens that other members of this Italian “cluster” were on the move.
I’m sure the members of the crew on that flight (which I’d guess work for Ryanair) as well as all the other people who flew are immensely relieved - those who are aware, anyway.

By recording daily summaries of the policies and actions that are currently happening in Spain, my hope is that these events can be expected, and, better still, avoided.
The Italian companions of the lady in hospital must have surely known what had happened to her, I don’t know what the heck they thought they were doing continuing their journey this way. Perhaps they were unaware, if so, I’d be glad to be prevented from exposing more people to risk if I was in their position.

UPDATE TO ADD:
The Italian tourists who were intercepted before boarding their 4 hour + flight did indeed test positive for Covid-19.
https://www.efe.com/efe/canarias/por...001319-4189900

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 6, 2020 at 10:53 am
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 5:53 am
  #27  
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Saturday 7th March
I think it’s going to become harder to keep this running summary going, I’m just going to keep to key points and try to update as they emerge

1:30pm (CET)
Earlier, there was a brief mention in the press of a local government worker in Aranjuez (a small town just to the South of Madrid) who tested positive. Unfortunately her job (the upkeep of a “therapeutic” children’s garden) is in a prison shared by two blocks of women inmates who live there with their under 3yo children, so nearly 70 women and infants are in quarantine and under investigation.

More implications of last night’s news that many of the figures we’ve been seeing relate to a funeral in the La Rioja region (between the Madrid community and the Basque Country). The town where it happened (Haro) is implementing a range of quarantine and lock down procedures. More cases are expected to emerge very shortly. Covid-19 appears to have spread throughout what is quite a small community. Drastic action involving entire neighbourhoods is being considered due to the concentration of cases.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html

Marches and demonstration within Madrid itself will be allowed to continue.

For the entire country, figures given are between 430 and 441 with 8 related deaths

11pm (CET)
Figures are now 519 and 10 deaths.

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 7, 2020 at 2:56 pm
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
Marches and demonstration within Madrid itself will be allowed to continue.
What is the logic behind this?
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 9:25 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by invisible
What is the logic behind this?
I am convinced it is because there just isn’t enough evidence to convince the Authorities that banning congregations is effective.

As of yesterday, 93% of cases were from visitors who had caught Covid-19 elsewhere or Spaniards returning to Spain who had caught it elsewhere or people who had a direct link with either. The amount of Covid-19 cases they have found (and yesterday 13,000 tests had been done - although there is a fair bit in the press about people having waited days for tests) don’t suggest enough local transmission has occurred to allow them to prevent crowds UNLESS people involved are key workers (initially healthcare workers, police/civil guard?- they tend to live together in barracks, and transport workers, specifically right now air controllers and other airport staff). They are banned from such gatherings.

”Having a hunch” or wishing to placate voters doesn’t come into it unless evidence based reasons can be argued. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

UK has been mirroring Spain’s figures at three days behind. Spain’s figures have also been consistent with France’s and Germany’s, so if there is a significant leap in the next few days that leaves those other countries far behind we’ll know what it was. But there might not be, and Spain might be right to only meddle where their protocols tell them to.
If there is a leap, Spain will certainly change their current approach fast, but they will have evidence that makes them do this.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 1:59 am
  #30  
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A family member shared this on FB. It was taken in Murcia (which has some of the lowest Covid-19 rates in the country)



“The use of hand sanitising gel and masks is forbidden!!
We come here to die like heroes, with a glass of wine or a beer in our hands!!”
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