CORONAVIRUS

Catalan premier asks residents not to travel to Madrid due to rising coronavirus cases

Quim Torra also stated on Monday that he wants passengers arriving in Catalonia from the region via plane or train to be subject to temperature checks

Quim Torra speaking in Barcelona on Monday.
Quim Torra speaking in Barcelona on Monday.David Zorrakino / Europa Press

The Catalan government has recommended that its residents not travel to Madrid given the ongoing rise in coronavirus cases in that region. The announcement was made on Monday by the premier in Catalonia, Quim Torra, who also argued in favor of temperature checks for travelers arriving from Madrid in the northeastern region by train or by plane.

Torra, a hardline separatist who is in favor of an independent Catalonia, added that if it is necessary to travel to the Spanish capital, that it should be done “with all of the necessary measures.” Sources from the premier’s office said that the Catalan territorial policy department has already got in touch with ADIF and AENA, the state management companies for rail and air travel, respectively, in order to plan how such checks will be carried out.

During an appearance on Monday with the Red Cross aimed at making young people aware of the dangers of the coronavirus, Torra stated that he was putting all of his teams of experts at the disposal of his opposite number in Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the conservative Popular Party (PP).

Torra also called on Ayuso to take “stricter measures” to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including “not letting anyone leave nor travel to Madrid if there is no certainty that they are negative” for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to the latest figures released by the central Health Ministry on Friday, the Madrid region currently has a cumulative incidence of the coronavirus of 682.57 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks. In Catalonia, meanwhile, the same figure is currently 160.18.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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