Barcelona is subject to restrictions on people’s movement and meetings following a rise in coronavirus infections in the city.

The regional government of Catalonia re-imposed restrictions in Barcelona forbidding more than 10 people from gathering and advised people to stay at home on Friday

Entertainment venues have been closed throughout the city and the surrounding area.

Regional health minister Alba Verges said: “There is a lot of transmission and it has grown very rapidly, so we had to take action.”

A Catalan government spokesperson said: “We are sending out an alert in response to the transmission of Covid-19.

“We need to act with determination to avoid finding ourselves back where we were in March.”

The return of restrictions in Barcelona highlights the difficulty of restarting travel following the coronavirus lockdown.

The city is one of the most-popular tourist destinations in Europe. But Catalonia has been the second worst-affected region of Spain after Madrid during the pandemic.

On Friday, the Spanish government reported that more than half the country’s new infections in the past seven days were in the region, although Spanish authorities are currently dealing with 158 outbreaks of Covid-19 infection.

Spain reopened to visitors from around the EU on June 21 and to non-EU visitors from July 1.

Travellers from England have been able to visit the country without the need to self-isolate for 14 days on returning to Britain since July 10, when the UK government published a ‘Covid travel list’ of countries exempt from Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel.

However, the Scottish government excluded Spain from its list of countries free of quarantine restrictions on return for travellers from Scotland.

Foreign Office advice on travel to Spain remained unchanged at the time of writing (July 18).

The Spanish government launched a ‘safe travel’ campaign on Friday for citizens travelling abroad.

It urged Spanish travellers “to assess the uncertainty that exists in many countries regarding borders, quarantines and restrictions on mobility, as well as the possibility of new spikes in the region of the country chosen”.