The rules, which some residents protested over the weekend, come amid a spike in cases around the country, but concentrated in Madrid, where virus-related hospitalizations have tripled. New cases in Spain have risen to more than 10,000 per day on average over the past week, exceeding the official tally in the spring, when Spain was one of the worst-hit nations in Europe. Testing is more widely available now.
Though deaths countrywide have not risen to the levels seen earlier this year, the authorities in Madrid said on Sunday that 37 people there had died of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, and about 4,000 patients were hospitalized, including some 300 in intensive care. The authorities there were preparing to reopen field hospitals if necessary.
In Britain, top scientific and medical advisers warned on Monday that infections could reach 50,000 a day by next month and spur a significant new spike in fatalities, as Wales announced an expansion of lockdown orders to take effect on Tuesday.
“We have, in a bad sense, literally turned the corner,” said Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, in a rare televised statement alongside Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser.
They cautioned that Britain faces a six-month battle to control the virus. Britain has imposed fines of at least 1,000 pounds, about $1,300, on those who do not self-isolate after testing positive or being exposed to the virus. The fines, which begin on Sept. 28, can increase to a maximum of £10,000 for repeat offenders or for the most serious breaches.
Though Britain has fewer cases or fatalities than some European countries, like France and Spain, the fear is that it is following the same trajectory, with cases rising sharply as children return to school, students to colleges and workers to offices.
Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, announced Monday that the country would mandate virus testing for people traveling from Paris and other parts of France where the virus is “significantly circulating.”