Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Spain announce coronavirus (COVID-19) containment restrictions in municipalities in Catalonia as of March 13.

This alert affects Barcelona

This alert began 13 Mar 2020 04:49 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Municipalities of Igualada, Odena, Santa Margarida de Montbui and Vilanova del Cami (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least March 27
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport and business disruptions; possible health screenings, shipping delays

Authorities in Catalonia have locked down municipalities of Igualada, Santa Margarida de Montbui, Odena, and Vilanova del Cami in Catalonia, to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as of March 13. The measure, which affects around 70,000 people, will remain in effect at least March 27. Officials are urging residents to remain indoors and have placed a ban on entry to or exit from the affected areas. Authorities also announced closure of educational institutions.

Authorities may extend these edicts upon their expiration dates, or add further requirements based on disease activity in the affected locations.

The affected areas are around 50 km (31 miles) from Barcelona.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary investigations indicate the course of illness is not as severe as seasonal influenza, nor as contagious.

Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays and possibly result in quarantine. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.