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Spain's wine region La Rioja shuts restaurants, bars for a month

27 Oct 2020 / 21:03 H.

    MADRID, Oct 27 (Reuters) - The wine-producing region of La Rioja on Tuesday ordered the closure of restaurants and bars in its two largest towns for a month to try to curb the coronavirus contagion.

    This was the latest move to try and contain the second wave of the pandemic in Spain, which has had a nationwide curfew in place since Sunday, while a growing number of regions have banned people from entering or exiting their territory.

    "Experts tell us the outbreaks come mostly from relaxing in closed spaces.. when we consume food and drinks and take off our masks," regional leader Concha Andreu told a news conference.

    The shut-down will be enforced in the capital Logrono and in Arnedo, the second largest town in the small central Spanish region, mostly known abroad for its red wine.

    Together Logrono and Arnedo account for more than half the region's 300,000 population. The people in the two towns will also be banned from leaving for non-essential reasons.

    World Health Organization data shows la Rioja is the third most affected region of continental Spain with 719 cases detected over the past 14 days.

    The country's total number of coronavirus cases rose by more than 50,000 over the weekend to reach 1,098,320 as of Monday, while the death toll is 35,031. (Reporting by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro Editing by Ingrid Melander and Barbara Lewis)

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