After a tense 8-hour meeting, the Spanish government presided by Pedro Sanchez decided drastic measures to tackle the fast-spreading coronavirus with 6,271 confirmed cases and 189 fatalities.
Under the declared state of emergency, people will have to stay at home, except to buy groceries and pharmaceuticals. Most businesses, schools, museums, hotels, restaurants must close. Sport and cultural events are cancelled.
Air, rail, sea and road transport may continue, but must be reduced by 40 to 60 percent; flights to the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, as well as to the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, must be reduced by fifty percent.
Yesterday, many flights from the UK to Spain turned back home halfway to their destination because the airlines feared that passengers would not be able to return to the UK after their stay in the country.