MADRID -- In Spain's first return to its strict lockdown since June's easing of coronavirus restrictions, officials in the city of Lleida and seven surrounding municipalities announced new quarantine measures on Sunday amid a spike of infections.
As of Monday, people in these areas will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, shopping or urgent matters such as a visit to the doctor, La Vanguardia newspaper reported, citing the regional government of Catalonia.
The lockdown comes a week after police largely sealed off 200,000 people in the city and surrounding areas from the outside world and began checking people's reasons for leaving and entering.
More than 100 COVID-19 patients are already being treated in hospitals in the Lleida area, according to the report.
Daily new infections across Catalonia on Sunday have more than doubled from 361 to 816 in the past 24 hours, amid a renewed outbreak in the L'Hospitalet de Llobregat region south of Barcelona.
Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, is one of the most densely populated areas of the country and face masks have been compulsory outdoors since Monday.
With almost 28,400 deaths and 250,000 people infected, Spain is one of Europe's worst-hit countries during the pandemic. Although nationwide figures have fallen sharply since mid-May, new local outbreaks have appeared since the end of restrictions.
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