The Dutch government’s travel advice for the Barcelona metropolitan area has been changed to code orange, meaning all but essential travel to the area should be avoided, the foreign affairs ministry has announced.
The Segrià region, which includes the town of Lleida, is also deemed unsafe as coronavirus infections increase. Travellers returning from both destinations are urged to self-isolate for 14 days, the ministry said.
There are no travel restrictions for the rest of Spain, although code yellow applies meaning there is a risk of infection.
Spain, which is heavily reliant on tourism, was earlier hit by a blanket 14 day quarantine requirement by the British government, a move criticised by prime minister Pedro Sánchez, who said the measures were ‘disproportionate’ and ‘wrong’.
‘Many areas in Spain have fewer infections than areas in other European countries, including Great Britain,’ Sánchez said.
Barcelona is not in lockdown but facemasks are compulsory and bars and restaurants close at midnight. The beach is accessible to a limited number of people.
People who are currently in the area are advised to return to the Netherlands as quickly as possible.
‘Travel insurance will be valid until the first possible moment the return journey can be undertaken,’ insurers organisation Verbond van Verzekeraars told broadcaster NOS. The costs of the return journey are not insured. Those who decide to stay forfeit their right to insurance.
People who decide to travel to a code orange destination for non-essential purposes when a code orange warning has been issued are not covered by insurance in the main, the organisation said.