Mar 14, 2020 - Health

Spain shuts down business, travel to fight coronavirus

A couple in Malaga, Spain on Saturday, March 14. Photo: Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Schools, bars and restaurants were ordered to close in Spain on Saturday, while citizens were told to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and health officials announced.

The big picture: Spain is following Italy's lead by shuttering non-essential businesses and implementing domestic travel restrictions, as the two nations grapple with the largest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in Europe.

Where it stands: COVID-19 cases in Spain have surged from 4,334 to just over 6,300 within the last 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. The country has reported nearly 200 deaths.

Details: Health officials "ordered all citizens to confine themselves to their homes — and to leave only to buy food, go to work, seek medical care or assist the elderly and others in need," per the New York Times.

What they're saying: “Spain is demonstrating in these critical hours that it has the capacity to overcome adversity,” Sánchez said on Saturday, per the NYT. “We are facing very difficult weeks of efforts and sacrifices. ... Some important rights must be limited if we want to beat the virus.”

Go deeper... Coronavirus updates: Pence says European travel ban will extend to U.K. and Ireland

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders nationwide lockdown

Photo: Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a national address on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest world leader to order a nationwide lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Johnson warned on Sunday that a surge of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks could cripple the country's National Health Service, and that the U.K. is only "a matter of weeks" behind Italy — now the site of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - World

Boris Johnson: Coronavirus outbreak in U.K. is only weeks behind Italy

Photo: Julian Simmonds/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday that a surge of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks could cripple the country's National Health Service (NHS), Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Johnson said the U.K., in terms of cases, is only "a matter of weeks — two or three — behind Italy," which overtook China last week as the country with the most reported deaths from the virus.

Go deeperArrowMar 22, 2020 - World

Italy quarantines 16M as northern region placed on coronavirus lockdown

Tourists on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, on Friday. Photo: Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree Saturday putting much of the country's north — including Venice and Milan — on lockdown Saturday to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Italy has the largest number of cases in Europe — 5,883 by early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins University data. At least 16 million people are now in mandatory quarantine in the Lombardy region, along with 14 provinces, the BBC notes. Among those to test positive is the head of Italy’s Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, per Bloomberg.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 8, 2020 - Health