Catalonia's coronavirus lockdown casts doubt on return of tourism

Catalan police on guard at checkpoint
The Catalan President announced the region’s 200,000 residents would not be able to leave after infections doubled in a week. Credit: AP

Imposing a coronavirus lockdown zone is the very last thing the Catalan authorities would wish to do especially as Spain has just started tempting the tourists back.

Filming here over the past week - mainly in resorts - the message has been the same, we desperately need visitors and we are doing all we can to keep them safe.

Road blocks have been brought in on routes in and out of lleida. Credit: Emma Murphy/Twitter

Although Lleida and Segrià county aren't particularly touristy, the optics aren't good.

The last thing anyone wants on their post-lockdown holiday is yet another lockdown - or the threat of one.

Furthermore, the UK government has repeatedly said it will not hesitate to change the travel quarantine situation if countries see large spikes.

And on that, this local difficulty in Spain is going to have a diplomatic knock on.

  • Martí Anglada, spokesperson for Government of Catalonia, reacts to the latest situation

On Friday, Portugal was left off the list of countries that will be quarantine free.

The decision - based on a spike in Lisbon - has been described as "absurd" by the government there.

If the situation in Spain deteriorates further, the UK government will find itself in yet another a tricky diplomatic spot.