SOME 870,000 people have been placed back into Phase 2 in northern Spain after more coronavirus outbreaks.

The city of Zaragoza has been returned to the second phase of the country’s four-step COVID-19 de-escalation plan.

The capital of Aragon, including its surrounding area, was joined back in Phase 2 by the region’s second city Huesca.

In the province of Huesca, the areas of La Litera, Cinca Medio and Bajo Cinca are all back in Phase 2.

The Bajo Aragon-Caspe area in the province of Zaragoza has also returned to this stage of the exit plan.

Phase 2 restrictions include a limit of 50% inside bars and restaurants and 75% on terraces, while maximum group size is capped at 10.

The development has been described as a move to a ‘flexible Phase 2’, suggesting some changes to the original phase.

Aragon’s Minister of Health, Sira Repolles had announced that masks would be obligatory in the region from this morning.

Her government also called for ‘individual responsibility’ and has not yet imposed restrictions on freedom of movement.

This latest local reversal of Spain’s lockdown easing comes after Aragon saw almost 200 new COVID-19 cases since Friday.

Director General of Public Health, Francisco Javier Falo, reported a total of 58 cases on Friday, including 50 in Zaragoza, nine in Teruel and three in Huesca.

On Saturday the number of new cases reported was 81, with most of those infected aged 15 to 40.

Sunday meanwhile saw a further 32 new cases, including 15 in Zaragoza and 13 in Huesca.

Aragon has already seen its Government return some of the region’s areas to Phase 2 in a bid to stop new outbreaks.

Just a day after Spain entered the so-called ‘new normality’ on June 22 Aragon forced a trio of comarcas back into the second phase of the exit plan.

Across the border in Catalunya, more than 200,000 people were also recently ‘re-locked down’ after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Non-residents in the affected area, within the province of Lleida, were given just hours to leave the 1,400 kilometre square zone.

Another northern Spanish region, Galicia, was also hit with new coronavirus outbreaks, while there have been others in Madrid.

Andalucia, Spain’s southernmost region, has been battling an outbreak at Malaga’s Red Cross Centre.

It also reported a new uptick in cases in the Guadalhorce area last week and has today announced that it will make wearing masks obligatory from Wednesday.

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