Both UK and Spain are witnessing a surge in coronavirus infections with a marginal difference in their respective caseloads. The claim is misleading.
On July 24, 2020, Spain had reported 900 new coronavirus cases. Less than a month after Spain ended its state of emergency, cities including Barcelona, Zaragoza, and the capital Madrid have seen a surge in new infections, prompting the government to warn that a second wave could be imminent.
Criticising the UK government’s move, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the infection rates in some regions of Spain are lower than that in Britain, and so, it was safer for British tourists to visit those areas than it would have been to stay home.
Boris Johnson warned of a possible ‘second wave’ of coronavirus in Europe, as he defended a 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain. The PM said the government had to be ‘swift’ and hinted at further action against other countries if necessary.
On August 5, 2020, Swiss health authorities added mainland Spain to its list of countries from which people arriving must enter a 10-day quarantine to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The measure excludes Spain’s Balearic and the Canary Islands. France, Germany, and Netherland have also urged its citizens to avoid travelling to certain regions in Spain.
As of August 6, 2020, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed the UK and Spain had a total of 307184 and 305767 infections respectively. As per the John Hopkins Mortality Analyses data on August 6, the UK has a case fatality of 15.1% and for Spain, it is 9.3%. Given the sustained rise in coronavirus cases in both the UK and Spain and the marginal difference in the current caseload, the claim about Spain being safer than the UK is misleading.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.