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Photo Credit: Jacob King/ PA
Photo Credit: Jacob King/ PA
World News

'It's one step forward and three steps back': Church leader in Spain calls for prayers as Covid-19 cases rise

by Tola Mbakwe

A church leader in Spain said there's a sense of sadness in the country as it comes to terms with a jump in coronavirus cases 

Canon David Waller lives in Mallorca and oversees Anglican churches in Spain. He told Premier Christian News that churches are now having to go back to online services.

"In the northeast of Spain there have been new regulations now brought in," he said. 

"Our chaplaincy in Barcelona, for example, while they were having services outside in an enclosed garden with controlled entry and social distancing, they've had to stop doing them again. 

"It's caused some disruption and I wouldn't be surprised to hear people feeling a bit depressed about it to be honest."

Over the weekend the UK removed Spain from its list of safe countries to travel to after fears were raised that the European country was experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections.

It means those returning from the country, including the Balearic and Canary islands, will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to the UK.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that there was evidence of an increase in cases in several regions of Spain, particularly Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia - which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona.

Canon David said just when it felt like the tourism industry in Spain was starting to recover from lockdown, it's taken another hit. 

"The Spanish take the tourism industry very seriously. They understand that their customers come from Britain so they want to protect that. 

"This is not the fully-fledged tourist season at all. My largest city, Parma, which is down the motorway from me here, is as if it were winter because there are just not the people around. 

"It just seemed like it was getting back to a little bit of what it might have been before. It's one step forward and sort of three steps back, it seems."

Boris Johnson indicated that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on further European countries if a "second wave" of coronavirus hits the continent.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said forcing British tourists into quarantine - if they've visited his country - is "unfair" and "unjustified".

He claimed most regions in his country have a lower coronavirus infection rate than the UK.

Canon David has encouraged people to pray for those who have contracted the virus and for healthcare workers. 

"We are also praying for God's guidance for our own decision making," he said. "We're praying for God's guidance as well for the consideration of the full breadth of people's anxieties in this difficult situation. 

"We're also praying for and interceding for those who are suffering from the virus itself."

Listen to Premier's interview with Canon David Waller here: 

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