MELILLA has ordered for the closure of its bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle a surge in coronavirus.

The city’s public health minister Mohamed Mohand announced yesterday that the new restrictions will come into force from 00:00 this Sunday (October 18).

The measure affects all hotel establishments, cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs and other nightlife venues in the North African enclave.

Only takeaway food will be permitted, with the measures lasting for two weeks.

Meanwhile from this Thursday, weddings, baptisms and communions will be prohibited for the following two weeks, along with cultural events.

Additionally, meetings of friends or family who do not live together must not exceed six.

The rule of six will not apply at education centres, work or sports training at the national level.

Finally, shops will not be permitted to open past 8pm, apart from restaurants and pharmacies, which can stay open until 10pm.

Pharmacies which are on call to be open 24 hours will be permitted to continue as such.

Failure to comply with any of these measures will have a minimum penalty of €3,000.

Establishments forced to close completely will receive financial aid from the government, Mohand said.

Melilla’s situation is described as ‘worrying’ as it counts 700 active coronavirus cases among a population of 85,000.

The Spanish territory has already approved the construction of a field hospital in preparation for further COVID-19 patients.

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