Spain has denied that it is battling a second wave of coronavirus despite a recent spike in new infections.
Over the the past seven days a total of 19,405 new coronavirus cases were recorded, with an average of 2,772 per day, according to the Spanish government’s own figures.
But the week before there was a lower average of 1,913 new daily cases with a daily figure of around 1,460 in mid-July.
Fernando Simon, head epidemiologist at the health ministry, said on Thursday: ‘I wouldn’t speak of a second wave’ unless transmission rates were out of control.
‘It is not clear that the increase in detected cases isn’t simply due to the increase in testing,’ he added.
It comes after Austria became the latest country to announce that it would issue a travel warning for mainland Spain.
Spain has denied that it is battling a second wave of coronavirus despite a recent spike in new infections (graphic showing new daily infections in Spain)
Spain, which is currently the worst-hit nation in Europe at the moment, has registered a total of more than 310,000 cases and 28,500 fatalities from the start of the pandemic. Pictured: Testing centre in San Sebastian
Yesterday alone Spain recorded 1,683 new coronavirus cases.
Mr Simon has been quick to reassure residents that despite the surge the hospital system was not at risk of buckling under pressure.
The country, which is currently the worst-hit nation in Europe at the moment, has registered a total of more than 310,000 cases and 28,500 fatalities from the start of the pandemic.
The country’s worst hit areas are Catalonia, which recorded more than 5,100 new in the past week, and Aragon, which saw 4,100 infections over the same period.
The regional authorities in these areas have ordered new partial lockdown measures.
On Thursday Austria became the latest to announce that it would issue a travel warning for mainland Spain.
Switzerland had said it too would be adding the popular holiday destination to its high-risk list with travellers from the country being required to undergo quarantine on their return.
It comes after Germany, France and Britain all took steps to limit travel from the country.
The UK’s move to add Spain onto the quarantine list on July 26 sparked a diplomatic row with the nation and caught out holidaymakers who had already flown over – which included Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Tourists in San Sebastian on Wednesday who will be subject to quarantine restrictions when they return to the UK
And earlier this week it was decided that the Balearic and Canary islands would remain on the UK’s quarantine list despite a Spanish minister insisting they were safe and pleading for their removal.
Arrivals from islands including Ibiza, Majorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria have been under orders to self-isolate for 14 days since the end of July, when they joined the Spanish mainland on the UK’s red travel list.
Madrid’s tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, previously said that her government had sent Boris Johnson’s administration fresh data that showed it was safe to restart quarantine-free travel to both sets of islands.
Such a move would have provided a boost for the thousands of Brits with holidays in the islands already booked but who were afraid that quarantine would have been impacted on their return.
But No10 dashed hopes of a swift change, with the PM’s spokesman saying there was no change to the quarantine advice.
He told reporters on Monday that ‘were some challenges in trying to look at this on a regionalised basis’ and made a decision ‘based on looking closely at the data’.
It comes after Britain said on Thursday night that travellers returning to the UK from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas would also need to quarantine for 14 days.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also said he would not hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list amid speculation that France will be next.
‘If we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that,’ Sunak told Sky News.