Tag Archives: spain

Sergio Ramos loses two penalties in Spain, Switzerland clash.


Spain’s press was beaten too easily for the first goal as Switzerland broke at speed.

Sergio Ramos missed two penalties as Spain needed a late equaliser from Gerard Moreno to draw 1-1 with Switzerland in the Nations League on Saturday.

Ramos was making his 177th appearance for Spain to break the international appearances record for a European player, pulling clear of Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, who has 176.

But instead of a celebration in Basel, it was a night to forget for the defender, who saw one spot-kick saved by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer but backed himself to score a second, only to miss again with a dreadful attempted ‘Panenka’.

Ramos had previously scored 25 penalties in a row and his inaccuracy from the spot cost Spain, who will now have to beat Germany in Sevilla on Tuesday to reach the final four.


Luis Enrique’s side have only scored three times in their last five matches and finishing was their undoing against a well-organised Switzerland, who had led through Remo Freuler.

They also had Nico Elvedi sent off for conceding the second penalty with 11 minutes left, but the hosts held on for a deserved point.

With Ramos out of position, Breel Embolo raced in behind before pulling a cross back to Freuler, who opened up his left foot and skewed the ball brilliantly into the far corner.

Ferran Torres could have equalised on the stroke of half-time but fired over at the back post before Ramos began a frantic half an hour.


First, he brilliantly blocked Freuler’s shot on the line after Unai Simon had made a mess of rushing out and then the Spain captain won the first penalty, his header hitting the arm of Sergio Rodriguez, who had turned his back.

But Ramos was unable to convert, his shot well saved by Sommer, who refused to commit too soon and got down quickly to his right.

Twenty minutes later, Alvaro Morata, on as a substitute, was fouled by Elvedi and Ramos stepped up to make amends only to compound his earlier error by missing again, this time with an attempted chip that Sommer easily collected.

Spain finally found an equaliser in the 89th minute as Moreno capitalised on a tiring Swiss defence by converting Sergio Reguilon’s cross. Switzerland held on for a point.


COVID-19: War in Spain over rising virus curbs.


But the government there is still expected to announce new restrictions on Monday, according to reports.

Protesters in several Spanish cities clashed with security forces for a second night running, police said Sunday, as exasperation and anger over coronavirus restrictions grow worldwide.

The unrest in Spain came as more European nations started locking down to try and stem a worrying spike in infections on the continent which has registered more than 278,000 deaths since the virus first emerged in China at the end of 2019.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest leader to impose a new shutdown in England that starts Thursday for at least a month, following in the steps of Austria, France and Ireland.

“This city will go bust, there will be nothing left of it,” said Roger Stenson, a 73-year-old pensioner in the northern city of Nottingham, echoing widespread concern over the long-lasting impact of another shutdown on people’s livelihoods.

“I fear for the young, like my own grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they’re going to suffer.”

Other countries like Germany and Greece have implemented slightly less restrictive infection-control curbs that nevertheless still involve the closure of bars, restaurants and cultural establishments in what has also caused anguish and resentment.


Barricades and stones

In Spain, anger spilled onto the streets in sometimes violent fashion overnight Saturday, with looting and vandalism breaking out in some cities on the fringe of protests.

The country has imposed a nationwide nighttime curfew and almost all of Spain’s regions have imposed regional border closures to prevent long-distance travel.

The biggest disturbances were in Madrid where scores of demonstrators chanting “freedom!” torched rubbish bins and set up makeshift barricades on the city’s main thoroughfare, the Gran Via, images on social media showed.

When police moved in to clear the gathering, they were pelted with stones and flares.


Other cities in the north also experienced unrest, as did Malaga in the south and Barcelona in the northeast.

Police said they arrested 32 people in total.

Italy was also the scene of protests last week.

These are expected to include banning travel between regions, closing shopping centres at the weekend, limiting commercial activity and imposing an earlier nighttime curfew.

Restrictions also led to unrest in Argentina, where riots took place in several jails in Buenos Aires province on Saturday, as prisoners demanded the resumption of visits in the pandemic.


‘A slap’

The health situation is also deteriorating in the United States, which is gearing up for a major election showdown between President Donald Trump and his Democratic contender Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Already the worst-affected country with 230,556 deaths, it also registered 776 new fatalities on Saturday, the largest number in the world, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

Top government scientist Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post in a interview published on Saturday that the US is “in for a whole lot of hurt.”

“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place,” he added.


The widely-popular Halloween celebration was a muted affair this year, particularly in Salem, Massachusetts.

The coastal city that infamously held witch trials in the 17th century is a draw for chill-seekers, and while grim reapers, mad scientists and tarot readers still paraded the streets on Saturday, authorities decided to shut down the city at 8 pm to avoid crowds.

“We are discouraging people from coming into Salem on Halloween night, which is so hard for us to do,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, the city’s tourism office.

“We can’t accommodate the crowds and shoulder-to-shoulder crowding that we usually see on a typical Halloween when we’ll have over 50,000 thousand people in the streets.”


In Germany, the sadness was palpable at the renown Bavarian State Opera House in Munich as it prepared to close.

It is “a slap”, said baritone Michael Nagy, unable to hide his tears.

Director Nikolaus Bachler said he did not understand why public transport and shops were able to keep going while the opera had to close.

“We have a disciplined public. It is possible to master the risks,” said Bachler, whose disappointment has been shared by other colleagues in the entertainment sector.


Displaced Syrians at risk

The virus has killed at least 1,196,109 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged last December, infecting more than 46 million.

And while hospitals in European countries have sounded the alarm about their ability to treat a rapidly rising number of patients, the situation is even worse in other, poorer parts of the world.

In war-torn northwest Syria, where almost 1.5 million people live in overcrowded camps or shelters, often with poor access to running water, fears are running high.

“They tell us, ‘Don’t go out. Don’t cause overcrowding’. But we live in tents barely half a metre apart,” said Mohammad al-Omar, a father of four, in an informal settlement in Idlib, the country’s last major rebel stronghold.


Final Score: Spain 4-0 Ukraine


Ansu Fati becomes Spain’s youngest ever scorer with superb strike while Sergio Ramos hits brace and Ferran Torres is also on target

2020/2021 UEFA Nations League
Ramos (3′ PEN)
Ramos (29′)
Fati (32′)
Ferran Torres (84′)

Match Events

0′ The match is about to start!

1′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?

3′ Penalty Goal! Spain 1-0 Ukraine (Ramos)

11′ CHANCE! Reguilon’s shot wide out

18′ CLOSE! Moreno’s shot wide out

23′ CLOSE! Fati’s shot inches wide

29′ GOAL! Spain 2-0 Ukraine (Ramos)

32′ GOAL! Spain 3-0 Ukraine (Fati)

45′ Thiago’s shot over the bar

61′ Olmo’s long shot stopped

63′ OFFSIDE! Moreno’s goal disallowed

77′ CLOSE! Rodriguez hits the beam

84′ GOAL! Spain 4-0 Ukraine (Ferran Torres)

90′ Injured Reguilon replaced


Spain XI: Ramos, J. Navas, De Gea, Thiago, G. Moreno, Merino, Reguilon, Olmo, Rodri, P. Torres, Fati

Subs: Busquets, Rodrigo, Carvajal, Kepa, Gaya, D.Llorente, Unai Simón, Fabian Ruiz, Ferran Torres, Eric Garcia, Rodriguez

Ukraine XI: A. Pyatov, Marlos, S. Kryvtsov, Yarmolenko, I. Kharatin, Malinovskiy, R. Yaremchuk, Zinchenko, M. Matvienko, O. Tymchyk, B. Mykhaylichenko

Subs: Júnior Moraes, Konoplyanka, I. Plastun, S. Sydorchuk, Y. Makarenko, H. Bushchan, Sobol, O. Karavaev, V. Kovalenko, V. Tsygankov, A. Lunin, V. Supryaha


Jordi Alba shows off his Bald head in styles


‘Here in Spain, We have different ways of scoring goal’ – Luis Enrique


Luis Enrique is happy in his belief that Spain have enough goals in all areas of the pitch to succeed without a prolific No.9.

La Roja put four past Ukraine on Sunday evening with Sergio Ramos scoring twice before both Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres scored their first international goals.

“We may not have a goalscoring No.9, but we have a lot of ways to get to goal,” Luis Enrique said after the match.

“Our top scorer is a defender.

“But I know that if the result had been bad, it would have been said that we don’t have a goalscorer.”

Sergio Ramos’ two goals made him international football’s highest scoring defender and the former Barcelona boss is looking forward to a successful spell of working with the Real Madrid captain.


“I hope he achieves a lot more with the national team,” Luis Enrique said.

“He’s a leader but with more than words. He is an example and that’s how he leads.

“Having Sergio Ramos [in a team] is very easy for a coach.”

Ansu Fati broke his own record on Sunday as he netted to become Spain’s youngest ever goalscorer and he made a good impression on his coach.

“I’m not worried, I’m sure his head won’t blow up, he’s a very humble guy,” the boss added.

“We know how to manage him.

“Even though I know him, he surprised me to do that [win a penalty] in the second minute].

“He’ll have some bad games, but his self-confidence isn’t normal.”

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‘Ansu Fati’ What Spain needs and Messi Needs


Ansu Fati was two years old when Sergio Ramos’ Spain journey began, but both were breaking records on Sunday evening as La Roja beat Ukraine 4-0 at Real Madrid’s Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

The defender became international football’s highest scoring defender, while the teenager became Spain’s youngest ever goalscorer.


Lionel Messi is staying at Barcelona, he has claimed that “there is no project” at Barcelona and he will spend next season without Neymar and Luis Suarez as well.

But Ansu Fati might just be what the Argentine needs.

The Spaniard isn’t a superstar yet, but his emergence a year ago as a 16-year-old grabbed attention and he has continued to improve since then.

Maybe Ansu can be the man to convince Messi that Barcelona have something to look forward to.

Fati’s first half against Spain would have had supporters standing in front of their sofas as he won a penalty and scored his own fine goal, even trying an overhead kick as well.

His level dropped in the second half, but he did a full night’s work in the first 45 minutes.


Pau Torres was one of the best players on the pitch on Sunday and he’s been one of the revelations of this international period.

Spain haven’t had a reliable partner for Sergio Ramos at the back in Gerard Pique’s retirement, but they might just have found their man in the form of the Villarreal defender.

As many as six players made their debuts in the last two games, showing that Luis Enrique is filtering in the new blood.

Spain’s attack on Sunday ended up being Ansu (17 years old), Dani Olmo (22) and Ferran Torres (20), with the latter also scoring his first Spain goal late on.

Sergio Reguilon impressed at full-back, as did Mikel Merino in the middle.

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‘Spain’s coach have a difficult Job’ – Sergio Ramos


Sergio Ramos ended Spain’s win over Ukraine even more impressed with the young talent at Luis Enrique’s disposal.

The Real Madrid captain broke Daniel Passarella’s record as international record’s highest scoring defender on the night, but his attention was taken by the debutants.

“The coach has a difficult job,” Ramos said after the game.


“He has very young but experienced kids.

“Anybody can play and that’s an important thing.”

Pushed to talk about his new record, the defender did acknowledge his delight to have overtaken the former Argentina international.

“It’s a record I had in mind,” Ramos said. “I’m very happy.”

Ansu Fati stole most of the attention on the night as he became Spain’s youngest ever goalscorer with their third goal on the night.

“We have to congratulate Ansu,” Ramos added.

“The youngsters have come here with a lot of desire, they bring freshness and youth and it’s a joy to have that profile of player.

“What’s expected of them isn’t easy for a kid, but they’ve shown themselves [to be good].”

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Spain Vs Germany lineups confirmed


The line-ups of Germany vs Spain have been announced.

Germany XI: Kroos, Trapp, Gundogan, Emre Can, Draxler, Rudiger, Sule, Werner, Kehrer, Sane, Gosens

Subs: O. Baumann, Leno, Ginter, Brandt, Tah, Waldschmidt, Serdar, Koch, Neuhaus, Havertz

Spain XI: Ramos, J. Navas, Busquets, De Gea, Thiago, Rodrigo, Carvajal, Gaya, Fabian Ruiz, Ferran Torres, P. Torres

Subs: G. Moreno, Kepa, D.Llorente, Merino, Unai Simón, Reguilon, Olmo, Rodri, Eric Garcia, Rodriguez, Fati.

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In: African refugees takes more risky route to Spain’s Canary Islands


African migrants and refugees are taking a new deadly route to reach Europe’s shores.

Arrivals via the Atlantic path to Spain’s Canary Islands have seen a 520 percent rise compared to last year.

But almost 250 have drowned or gone missing.

In August, 15 lifeless Malians were spotted by a Spanish plane.


So why are migrants taking this route? The answer is twofold.

The increase in traffic comes after the European Union funded Morocco in 2019 to stop migrants from reaching southern Spain via the Mediterranean Sea.

“Morocco is putting more pressure on its northern border, and moves people to the south,” said Txema Santana, Spanish Commission to Help Refugees representative in the Canaries.

He said the reason the path is also becoming popular is because more people from Mali and Senegal have joined the route, especially in this porous border between Mali and Mauritania.”


The UN Commissioner for Refugees says many arrivals, who are potential refugees, are fleeing conflict in the Sahel.

Kassi Diallo fled Mali after his father was killed in an attack by extremists.

“I risked my life in this way because I was so sad,” he said.

“I have too many problems. But it’s not normal. A human being shouldn’t do this. But how else can we do it? It’s tough in Mali. I am in need of international protection, to live my life a bit and settle down so I can forget some things (trauma).”


It can take 10 days from Morocco or The Gambia to reach the Spanish islands and food reserves dry up quickly.

The Islands then become a path for arrivals, who wish to reach other countries such as France.

The Spanish government has raised the alarm over the increase in migration.

Spain has announced a donation of 1.5 million euros in border surveillance equipment to six West African countries.


As school resumes: 6-year-old and above to wear masks in Spain.


Children above the age of six in Spain will be required to wear face masks at school at all times, the government said Thursday, as it seeks to restart lessons despite a surge in coronavirus infections.

“The use of masks will be mandatory in general from the age of six, even if social distance is maintained,” Education Minister Isabel Celaa told a news conference ahead of schools’ reopening next month.

Spain’s 17 regional governments, which are responsible for health care and education, have in recent days outlined a patchwork of different measures, leading critics to charge there was a lack of coordination.


The northern region of Cantabria’s requirement for children as young as three to wear masks sparked particular controversy.

As well as mask-wearing, pupils will also have to maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres (five feet) from each other, Celaa said, except for young children who will be allowed to mix only with their classmates but not with outsiders.

Other measures include requiring children to wash their hands at least five times a day, regularly ventilating classrooms and taking pupils’ temperature.

The goal is for children return to schools instead of having online lessons as they did at the end of the last school term due to the pandemic.


“We aim for all students to be present,” Celaa said.

Spain’s schools shut in mid-March when the country imposed a strict three-month lockdown to curb the spread of the virus and have not re-opened since.

New cases are growing at one of the fastest rates in Europe and debate has raged in Spain over how to protect children from infection in schools.

Some parents say they will refuse to send their children back to class because they fear it won’t be safe.


The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Spain, a nation of around 47 million people, surpassed 400,000 this week. Nearly 29,000 people have died, one of the world’s highest tolls.

Against this backdrop, local authorities have toughened measures to curb the spread of the virus. Madrid city hall announced Thursday that public swimming pools would close on September 1 and parks will be closed at night.

The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, which include holiday hotspots Ibiza and Mallorca, announced Wednesday that beaches would be shut at night.

With nightclubs and bars closed across Spain, many young people have taken to gathering and drinking in parks and on beaches at night.


COVID-19: New restrictions get into action in 2 Spanish axis.


New restrictions to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, including the closure of discos and a partial ban on smoking outdoors, went into effect Sunday in two Spanish regions.

The small, northern wine-growing region of La Rioja and the southeastern region of Murcia are the first Spanish regions to implement a raft of new measures which Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa unveiled Friday to be enforced nationwide as the country battles a surge in the disease.

The measures include the closure of all discos, night clubs and dancing halls, while restaurants and bars are required to close by 1:00 am, with no new guests allowed in from midnight.


Visits in retirement homes will be limited, while smoking outdoors in public places is banned when a distance of two metres cannot be maintained.

The ban on smoking on the streets is already in place in two of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, Galicia and the Canary Islands.

Spain’s remaining regional governments are expected to start implementing the new measures in the coming days.

The Basque Region, which neighbours La Rioja, plans to go a step further and will on Monday declare and “health emergency” which will allow it to impose greater restrictions on the size of public gatherings and establish selective confinement in areas where there is a high risk of transmission of the disease.


Nearly 29,000 people have died so far from COVID-19 in Spain, which declared a state of emergency between March 14 and June 21 that allowed the central government to impose restrictions nationwide.

With the state of emergency subsequently lifted, autonomy has been handed back to the regional authorities.

The health ministry has had to negotiate with them to impose the new measures on a nationwide basis.

Spain has a population of 47 million and its infection rate of 110 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is higher than in other European countries.


Spanish actor, Antonio Banderas test positive


Spanish-born actor Antonio Banderas has tested positive for coronavirus.

In a post shared on his Instagram page to mark his 60th birthday, Banderas said the development has forced him to celebrate in quarantine.

The multiple award-winning actor, who wrote in Spanish, said he’s “just a little more tired than usual and confident that I will recover as soon as possible.”

“I will take advantage of this isolation to read, write, rest and continue making plans to begin to give meaning to my newly released 60 years to which I arrive loaded with desire and enthusiasm.”

Banderas began his acting career in the 80s and have appeared in such blockbuster movies as Desperado, Assassins, Interview with the Vampire, and The Mask of Zorro.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 19, 2019 Spanish actor and director Antonio Banderas smiles during the presentation of the musical “A Chorus Line” in Malaga. – Spanish actor Antonio Banderas announced on his 60th birthday on August 10, 2020 that he was in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus but was feeling “relatively well”. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

He won Best Actor at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for his role in the Spanish film, Pain and Glory.


Greetings to all.
I want to make public that today, August 10, I am forced to celebrate my 60th birthday following quarantine after having tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, caused by the coronavirus.

I would like to add that I feel relatively well, just a little more tired than usual and confident that I will recover as soon as possible following the medical indications that I hope will allow me to overcome the infectious process that I suffer and that is affecting so many people around the planet.

I will take advantage of this isolation to read, write, rest and continue making plans to begin to give meaning to my newly released 60 years to which I arrive loaded with desire and enthusiasm.

A big hug to everyone.
Antonio Banderas


COVID-19: Spain insist virus under control despite 272,400 cases


The Spanish government said on Sunday that in spite of the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the situation there is “under control”.

The statement comes in response to countries that have recently announced travel restrictions on Spain.

From Sunday, passengers arriving from Spain to the UK will have to undergo a fortnight in isolation while Norway imposed restrictions on travel to Spain.


French Prime Minister Jean Castex “strongly recommended” Friday that the French avoid going to Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain where the epidemic is particularly on the rise.

“The Spanish government considers that the situation is under control, the outbreaks have been located, isolated and controlled,” the foreign ministry told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

“Spain is a safe country,” the ministry said, adding that in the case of the British quarantine, Spain is “in contact” with London whose decisions it “respects”.

Spain reported nearly a thousand new cases a day on both Thursday and Friday.


Its number of cases has tripled in two weeks while more than 280 homes are being closely monitored by the authorities.

The Ministry of Health is particularly concerned about the situation in Aragon and Catalonia, where the regional authorities have urged residents of Barcelona to stay at home.

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez gives a speech during a parliamentary plenary session at the Lower Chamber of Spanish Parliament, in Madrid, on May 20, 2020. Andres BALLESTEROS / POOL / AFP

They also decided on Friday to close nightclubs and bars, considered hotbeds of contagion.

Most regions have tightened the screw by reinforcing the compulsory use of masks, which must be worn at all times in the street under threat of a fine.


In some of them, restrictions have been taken locally, such as limiting the number of people who can meet or banning visits to retirement homes.

The central government, which insists that this is not a “second wave”, considers that the regions have sufficient tools to control the epidemic.

It has also ruled out the possibility of a new state of emergency, which allowed Madrid to impose a strict lockdown in mid-March which was not completely lifted until June 21.

Spain, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, has had 272,400 cases and more than 28,400 fatalities.


UK back Spain’s removal from travel border


The British government on Sunday defended its decision to impose an immediate requirement for passengers arriving from Spain to self-isolate amid a resurgence of coronavirus in the popular holiday destination.

The new rules took hold at midnight Saturday, hours after being announced, causing uncertainty for holidaymakers and leading to criticism from travel industry leaders.

“I think it’s quite poor that they did it so instantaneously,” Philip Bradby, 55, told the domestic Press Association after returning early to Britain from Barcelona.


But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government was required to take “swift” action.

“The data we got was on Friday, it showed a big jump right across mainland Spain. That was then assessed yesterday afternoon and we took the decision as swiftly as we could,” Raab told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.

“We can’t make apologies for doing so,” he added.

“I understand it is disruptive for those going through this …but we must though be able to take swift, decisive action.”


Passengers arriving in Britain will have to self-isolate for two weeks following the surge in cases.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Spain based on the latest data,” said a British government spokesman.

“As a result, Spain has been removed from the lists of countries from which passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempted from the need to self-isolate.”

Britain is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, but that does not apply to the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands.


Barely a month after Spain ended its months-long state of emergency, new infections have been rising.

Transport minister Grant Shapps was caught in the ruling as he is currently in Spain for his summer break.

Labour called the decision “frankly shambolic”, with shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth saying holidaymakers had been left “confused and distressed”.

Tui, Britain’s biggest tour operator, said the government should have given them “more notice of this announcement”.


COVID-19: Catalonia, Spanish region shut event centres, nightclubs


The Catalan government on Friday ordered the closure of all nightclubs, discos and event halls across this region of northeastern Spain following a surge in cases of coronavirus.

The order, which will come into effect on Saturday and remain in force for two weeks, was given as Spain watches more than 280 new outbreaks, with virus cases tripling in the past fortnight.

Nearly half of all new cases have been in Catalonia, where just a week ago, officials urged nearly four million residents of metropolitan Barcelona to stay home unless absolutely necessary.


Friday’s order by the region’s civil protection agency also banned musical events with dance floors and imposed a midnight curfew on gambling establishments, casinos, bingo halls, bars and restaurants and their terraces, and music bars.

Barely a month after Spain ended its months-long state of emergency, new infections have been rising, with health officials increasingly pointed to nightlife as fertile ground for the spread of the virus.

People wear face masks as they walk along a beach in Barcelona, on July 18, 2020. Josep LAGO / AFP

Earlier this week, the southeastern region of Murcia also ordered the closure of nightclubs unless they had an outdoor terrace space for customers.


The closure came a month after Barcelona’s nightclubs and discos reopened but within days, regional officials had issued an order banning dancing unless you know your partner well.

Spain has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far claimed 28,432 lives and infected more than 272,000 people.

France has also been worriedly watching the situation in Catalonia, with Prime Minister Jean Castex on Friday urging French nationals “to avoid going there until the health situation improves”.

For now, however, the border between France and Spain will remain open.


COVID-19: Spain reopen Borders amid ban lift. [+3 Happenings]


After 3-month lockdown, Spain reopens border to most European countries and lifts restrictions on movement of citizens.

  • Spain has opened its borders to most European countries, as well as Britain, as the coronavirus state of emergency ends. Spaniards were also allowed to move freely around the country from Sunday.
  • A new field hospital in eastern Morocco will receive about 700 new coronavirus patients following a spike in infections in the kingdom, said the government.
  • Iraqi football legend Ahmad Radhi has died at a hospital in Baghdad as a result of complications from the new coronavirus.
  • Worldwide, at least 8.75 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus, more than 4.3 million have recovered, and more than 464,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.



Just in: Spain city begin 10-day crying for COVID-19 victims.

Flags across nation to be lowered to half-mast until June 5 to honour more than 27,000 lives lost so far to COVID-19.

Spain has begun an official 10-day mourning period for the tens of thousands of victims of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Starting from Wednesday, all flags on public buildings across the nation and on Spanish naval vessels will be lowered to half-mast until June 5 to pay tribute to the more than 27,000 people that have so far lost their lives.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Twitter this would last for “10 days, the longest period of mourning in our democracy, in which we will all express our sorrow and pay homage to those who have died”.


The mourning period, which was approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, would also include a solemn memorial ceremony presided over by Spain’s head of state, King Felipe VI, according to government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero.

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The dead are “men and women whose lives have been suddenly cut short, leaving friends and family in great pain, both from the sudden loss and from the difficult circumstances in which it has occurred,” she said following the cabinet meeting.

“Eight out of 10 victims were older than 70, they were those who helped build the country that we know today.”


Spain, where a nationwide lockdown was first imposed on March 14, is one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, registering the fifth-highest number of confirmed cases and deaths.

As of Wednesday, at least 27,111 people had died of COVID-19, the highly contagious disease caused by the new coronavirus. The overall number of known infections stands at more than 236,000, with some 150,000 recoveries.

Spain’s healthcare workers have been severely affected by the virus, with up to 20 percent infected out of the total confirmed case, Al Jazeera’s Marta Herrero reported.


“In the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, the Spanish government decided to consider work accident for all the people that have died and been infected by COVID-19 in the healthcare sector,” she said from the capital, Madrid.

Easing of restrictions
The government has so far renewed a state of emergency four times, which has allowed it to impose some of the world’s tightest restrictions on the country’s nearly 47 million people.

But in recent weeks, strict home-confinement orders and bans on public activity have been gradually relaxed.


Since May 11, half of Spain’s population has experienced an easing of the restrictions, with cafe terraces reopening and people allowed to meet in groups of up to 10 people – although these measures have not yet been rolled out in the worst-hit areas such as the Madrid region and Barcelona.


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Spain record 100 deaths in 24 hours – Other countries tighten their bosom.

On Saturday, far-right protests erupted in Madrid as thousands of people, many honking car horns, rallied against the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the lockdown measures

No other country has so far announced an observance on the scale of Spain’s 10-day mourning period, an event unprecedented since the country reinstated democratic rule in 1978.


Opposition parties had criticised Sanchez’s left-wing coalition government for not paying tribute to the victims of the pandemic as Spain’s high death toll became a point of political debate.

“They should have declared the mourning days ago,” Madrid resident Conchita Hernandez, 77, told The Associated Press news agency. Her husband, Agustin Alvarez, 77, compared the nearly 9,000 virus-related deaths in Madrid to the casualties during times of war.

“The mourning would have made more sense when we were all homebound, but I still think it makes a lot of sense,” Alvarez said.


China, where the virus emerged in late 2019 and has now officially killed 4,638 people, held a national day of mourning on April 4, while Italy, which has so far counted almost 32,900 deaths, mourned its victims on March 31.

And this week, the United States lowered its flags to half-mast for three days to remember its dead, who now number more than 98,900, the heaviest toll in the world.