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Coronavirus: Spain orders closure of hotels

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The Local Spain/AFP - [email protected]
Coronavirus: Spain orders closure of hotels
Photo: AFP

Spain has ordered all hotels in its territory to close to help stem the spread of coronavirus, under a new measure announced in the state official bulletin on Thursday.

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The measure orders "the suspension of opening to the public of all hotels and similar lodgings, tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation... situated on national territory," the official notice published in BOE read.

Hotels in Spain, the number-two tourist destination in the world, will close by March 26th. The order to close includes all establishments that provide short term stays, including pensions, campsites and caravan parks.

However, long-stay accommodation can remain open, providing they have the necessary infrastructure for residents to abide by the conditions of total confinement currently in force in the country, that includes them being able to cater from themselves and stay isolated.

The UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice and a spokesperson at the British Embassy in Madrid said: "The local authorities may ask British travellers to move hotels, as guests are grouped into smaller numbers of hotels, but they have underlined that no-one will be left without accommodation." 

Adding: "We advise British tourists in Spain who wish to return to the UK to make travel plans to do so as soon as possible.

In Madrid health authorities are converting hotels into medical care facilities to treat people with mild cases of coronavirus in a bid to ease pressure on hospitals grappling with the pandemic. 

Spain is the country that has been fourth-hardest hit by COVID-19, with 767 deaths and 17,147 infections by Thursday March 19th.

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