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Spain orders all hotels to close in attempt to stave off coronavirus spread

Members of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) disinfect the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport during a partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barcelona, Spain March 19, 2020.
Members of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) disinfect the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport during a partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barcelona, Spain March 19, 2020. © Nacho Doce, REUTERS

Spain has ordered all hotels in its territory to close to help stem the spread of coronavirus, under a new measure announced in the state official bulletin on Thursday.

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The measure orders "the suspension of opening to the public of all hotels and similar lodgings, tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation... situated on national territory," the official notice published in BOE read.

Hotels in Spain, the number-two tourist destination in the world, will close immediately for seven days.

Long-stay accommodation can remain open, providing they have the necessary infrastructure for residents to abide by the conditions of total confinement currently in force in the country. 

Spain is the country that has been fourth-hardest hit by COVID-19, with 767 deaths and 17,147 infections.

(AFP)

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