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Coronavirus digest: Germany declares mainland Spain, Balearic Islands as ‘risk areas’

  • August 15, 2020


Germany has added almost all of Spain to its list of coronavirus “risk areas,” with only the Canary Islands deemed safe to visit. Citizens who visit the rest of Spain, including the Balearic Islands, will have to undergo mandatory testing for the coronavirus upon their return and could be subject to quarantine, depending on state rules.

The decision was made by the federal ministries due to increasing infection rates in the Mediterranean country. The German government considers regions within the European Union a “risk” once the number of new cases exceeds 50 per 100,000 people over the course of a seven-day period.

Spain has closed nightclubs and banned smoking and drinking in the streets in the hope of stemming the surge in infections.

More parts of Paris will see pedestrians wearing face masks as of Saturday morning as health officials step up measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Champs-Elysees Avenue and the area around the Louvre museum are among a number of zones where face masks will be mandatory.

Increased police checks in the French capital will occur to ensure citizens are following the guidelines, while bars and restaurants could be forced to close if social distancing and other restrictions are not adhered to.


The United States Postal Service has warned 46 states and the District of Columbia it cannot be certain all votes cast by mail for the November presidential election will arrive in time, according to a report from The Washington Post. The postal service is anticipating an unprecedented number of ballots to be cast by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has announced an extension of restrictions until August 30, recognizing there was a “worrying” upward trend in cases across “the entire country.” The lockdown restrictions will stay the same in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area while measures will be tightened elsewhere.

Mexico’s assistant health secretary said he believes the country has reached its peak in terms of coronavirus cases. Hugo Lopez-Gatell had previously wrongly forecast that infections would peak in May and June, but on Friday he said, “We have now had a maximum point in the curve.” Despite the positive prediction, he cautioned that second waves would continue occurring around the world for some time. “This is a phenomenon that is going to be with us in the whole world for several years,” he said.


South Africa posted a significant fall in crime, including sexual assaults, during the first three months of its lockdown, the country’s police minister announced. The latest quarterly statistics showed criminal activity dropping by up to 40% between April and June in comparison with the same period last year.

jsi/stb (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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