Almost 3,000 new infections were found in the Catalonia region over the weekend. Local officials urged the roughly 3 million residents of the Barcelona area to stay home on Saturday, but stopped short of making that mandatory. The next day, thousands flocked to the beach and many left for their summer holiday homes.
“It wasn’t clear. People can go outside Barcelona, but the recommendation is also to stay at home. You can go to the beach but you have to wear a mask. But if you are in a terrace, you don’t have to wear it,” said Barcelona resident Carolina Fernandez.
My perception is: if something is not mandatory, we don’t do it," she added.
Epidemiologists say Barcelona's spike is a prime example of what happens when virus monitoring systems are neglected and government mandates aren’t clear.
“Why is it happening? Because the government did not introduce appropriate contact tracing,” epidemiologist Helen Legido-Quiqley told CNN.