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Catalonia advises against travel to Madrid region

President Torra announces temperature checks for all passengers arriving from Madrid by train and plane

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21 September 2020 03:34 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government has officially advised residents of Catalonia against travelling to the Madrid region due to the worsening of the health crisis in the Spanish capital.

On Monday, President Quim Torra said that only "very exceptional reasons" could justify such a journey at the moment.

He also announced that after talking to the railway and airport operators in Spain, Renfe and Aena, temperature checks will be performed on all passengers arriving from Madrid by train and airplane.

During an event at the Red Cross headquarters in Barcelona, Torra also urged the regional government of Spain's capital and its surrounding area "to not allow anyone leave the Madrid region if there is no guarantee that the passenger has no symptom of Covid-19."

He also offered "all technical teams" available to help stop the spread of Covid-19 there.

The Catalan chief also criticized the management of the executive led by People's Party Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the Madrid region: "I do not understand why stronger measures have not been implemented given the current situation."

Indeed, according to a weekly report by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), as of September 16, the Madrid region's outbreak risk was at 783 points while Catalonia's was 168 as of September 21 - the threshold of 'high' risk is at 100, and 'very high' at 200. The Spanish average is at 358. 

Last week, Catalonia's health authorities already expressed concern about a possible spread of Covid-19 from Madrid.

"It can affect a lot of places because Spain is radial and also because the communication Madrid–Barcelona is very fluid and it has to continue to be fluid," said the public health secretary, Josep Maria Argimon, in an interview with the public broadcaster Tv3.

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  • Catalan president Quim Torra photographed in the Catalan parliament, September 2020 (by Gerard Artigas)

  • Catalan president Quim Torra photographed in the Catalan parliament, September 2020 (by Gerard Artigas)

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