FERNANDO Onega warned against “complacency” about COVID-19  among young people today ahead of a major crackdown on people holding parties in defiance of social distancing.

The Spanish broadcaster warned that young people must take more care about spreading coronavirus following a surge in daily cases to almost 1,000 in Catalunya and Cantabria. 

He added that he was deeply concerned about gatherings held by young people, particularly as students celebrating the end of exams. 

 “Young people, you have to choose, and if you choose a party, you choose restriction,” he said. 

His comments come after a spate of new coronavirus outbreaks across Spain was blamed on student trips to the Balearic Islands. 

Groups of students from different parts of Spain travelled to Mallorca between June 12 and June 18 to celebrate the end of examinations and the outbreak started after hundreds were partying on the island. 

Some have tested positive on the island while others tested positive when they returned home to regions including Madrid, Andalucia, the Basque Country, Galicia and Valencia. 

The Spanish government has asked for schools and authorities not to send any more students to the island until the outbreak is under control.  

More than 1,160 people have so far tested positive and the number of people in isolation has reached 5,126 – either in hotels on the islands or at home. 

So far, most have shown light symptoms and some have been consistent with the Delta variant although an 18-year-old is in intensive care suffering from Covid-19. 

In one hotel in Palma, 249 students are in isolation. 

Maria Antonia Font, head of public health in Mallorca, has ordered the forced isolation of students who came into contact with those who have tested positive.  Police in Mallorca said they had detained 21 students at the airport who had tried to take a flight off the island. 

Health authorities in Mallorca have launched an investigation to find out if any venues where the students socialised broke COVID-19 restrictions. 

Reports in the Spanish media have suggested that parties at a bullring, on boats and in hotels did not adhere to restrictions. 

Meanwhile, the parents of some students who have been asked to quarantine in hotels in Mallorca have accused the Balearic Islands’ government of ‘kidnapping’ their children. 

They say they have tested negative for coronavirus and should be allowed to return home to mainland Spain. Health authorities have so far said this is not possible. 

Francina Armengol, the Balearic Islands’ president, tweeted: “We will not allow the irresponsibility of a few to put in danger the efforts of many.”  

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