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Lanzarote limits exits and arrivals in toughest-ever coronavirus crackdown 

 Lanzarote has had to close its borders due to a very worrying increase in coronavirus.

The Canary government says the island,
including neighbouring islet La Graciosa, will rise to alert level 4 starting
at midnight on Saturday due to the “seriousness” of coronavirus cases
on the island and especially the “speed” in the transmission of
infections.

Public health chiefs say the coronavirus level
at seven days has multiplied 25-fold in just over three weeks and has exceeded
the threshold of what is considered a “very high risk” .

A week ago, Lanzarote went from alert level
two to level three, as a consequence of the increase in cases after the
Christmas holidays. Now it will go to level four.

In the last 14 days, Lanzarote registered
698.67 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Spokesman for the executive, Julio Pérez said
“the outlook is very worrying” and though this forced them to take new
restrictions which would affect the economy, the priority was to tackle the
rise in infections.

“Lanzarote has a very worrying outlook
due to the speed with which infections increase as well as other
indicators,” he said. “The curve has ceased to be a curve to become a
straight that rises rapidly.  For this reason, we must face the health
situation and that is why we have created level 4 that we did not have until
now to further toughen the intensity of the restrictions.”

There will be a curfew between 10pm and 6am
and social gatherings are reduced to a maximum of two people and non-essential
economic activity will cease at 6pm.

In addition, there will be restrictions on the
entry and exit of people to and from Lanzarote, except for justified cause.
Residents are being urged to work home from home, bars and restaurants will
close at 6pm, shops have to cut numbers inside to just 25 per cent and the
capacity on beaches and in pools is also being cut.

Mr. Perez said restrictions elsewhere in the
Canaries had paid dividends, such as in Tenerife where the previous red alert
has been downgrade to level 2 thanks to a decrease in coronavirus cases.

He stressed the new regulations in Lanzarote
did not amount to a confinement as mobility was still allowed but he urged
citizens to stay at home when possible.