Coronavirus is quickly spreading its way across the globe, and it can be challenging to find accurate information. Whether you're debating your current travel plans due to coronavirus in Spain, you're traveling currently, or you're looking to plan a trip in the future - we have put together this post as a resource for you.
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(We will continue to update this post. Updated March 20, 2020).
The word "coronavirus" actually refers to a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The current outbreak is a specific kind of coronavirus called COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are a fever, cough, and shortness of breath - which, of course, are also the symptoms of the flu, strep, or the common cold.
The virus is spread through airborne droplets through sneezing or coughing, and people can catch the virus through their nose, mouth, or eyes.
The most effective ways to protect yourself from the virus include:
Washing your hands frequently, with hot water and soap for 30-60 seconds.
Covering your mouth with your elbow if you sneeze or cough.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth - wearing a mask can help.
Wear a mask if you have any symptoms.
Avoid large gatherings of people.
Right now, Spain has 20,412 cases of coronavirus - nearly half of these are in the Madrid region. There have been 1,041 deaths, and 1,588 recoveries. 95% of active cases right now are mild, and 5% are serious. You can find live updates on the numbers here.
As of the evening of March 13th, the Catalan government has shut down all commercial areas not dedicated to food or healthcare - there's more information here. This will be in place for 15 days and then will be subject to reevaluation.
The US State Department has now issued a Level 3 travel advisory, "Reconsider Travel". Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive alerts.
At this point, Spain has declared a state of emergency, and with all attractions and commercial businesses shut down, it's likely best to cancel any upcoming trips to Spain.
Not only the US State Department, but also the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to Spain: "Spain declared a State of Emergency (“Estado de Alarma”) on 14 March, which introduces a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak".
Check this list of all the airlines allowing refunds or flights changes.
Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.