OVIEDO, Spain

Barely a day after Spain lifted its state of emergency and ushered in the new normal, authorities on Monday announced that three districts in Aragon would be going back to stricter lockdown measures.

The districts of Cinca Medio, Bajo Cinca, and La Litera in northeastern Spain have returned to phase two of Spain’s lockdown plan, which puts stricter limits on maximum capacity in public spaces and limits the size of gatherings.

“The epidemiological situation has changed rapidly in certain areas,” Sira Repolles, Aragon’s health minister, told a press conference. “The emergence of new cases has multiplied by between 10 and 20 times in recent days in these areas.”

The focal points of these outbreaks have been in meatpacking plants and an agricultural business, but Repolles said authorities now suspect community transmission.

Since Spain’s state of emergency was lifted on Sunday, regional health authorities have been in charge of the coronavirus response.

According to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, unless the country is under a state of emergency, travel cannot be broadly limited. Thus authorities are recommending people avoid entering or leaving the affected areas, but they cannot legally forbid circulation.

Since the state of emergency ended this weekend, free movement has been allowed throughout Spain for the first time since mid-March. Likewise, Spain’s borders opened up to the rest of Europe – with the exception of Portugal.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Health Ministry reported 232 new coronavirus cases nationwide, bringing the total to 246,504. The daily number of new infections is down slightly from Sunday.

One more death has also been confirmed, which brings the total number of COVID-19 victims in Spain to 28,324.

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