Countries around the world are announcing emergency declarations over the Wuhan coronavirus. On Saturday, the Trump administration announced that travel bans would be extended to include the United Kingdom and Ireland. The French government ordered a nationwide lockdown on all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops.
Spain is now following Italy's footsteps and barring people from leaving their homes. The only acceptable reason to leave is to purchase food and medicine; go to work, hospitals and banks; or travel to take care of the young and elderly. The country is also planning to close all schools, universities, restaurants, bars, hotels and nonessential stores.
The head of the Interior Ministry "will be able to impose the closure of freeways or sections of the same for reasons of public health, safety or movement of traffic, or the restriction of determined vehicles to them for the same reasons," the decree said, according to El Pais.
The new rule is set to go into effect on Monday at 8 a.m. local time, Fox News reported.
Although the Wuhan coronavirus originated in China, Europe is now the epicenter of the current outbreak. Italy is currently the hardest hit, with more than 17,600 infections and more than 1,000 deaths. After Italy, Spain has the next highest number of infected people in Europe.
According to health officials in Spain, 5,753 people have been infected and more than 132 people have died. What's concerning is that almost 3,000 people in Spain's capital, Madrid, are among the infected. The nation saw an increase of 1,500 cases in 24 hours, the Associated Press reported.
After China, Italy, Iran and South Korea, Spain has the fifth-most cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.