Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is reportedly preparing to close Spanish airspace as coronavirus cases rise by 1,500 to more than 5,700.

He is due to address the nation at 2pm local time today after a cabinet meeting to finalise the state of alarm he initiated yesterday.

Sanchez has not yet officially announced the closure of airspace but Spanish media are reporting the PM is preparing the close airports.

Catalan president Quim Torra has reportedly asked Sanchez for help closing Madrid's ports and airports.

Overnight reports from a Costa Blanca-based newspaper said Jet2 wrote to hotels telling them it is planning to send empty planes to Spain to repatriate stranded Brits.

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It comes as Jet2 stopped flights to Spain "mid-air" and cancelled a dozen more to Brit holiday destinations such as Benidorm, Ibiza and Marbella.

In a statement given to Manchester Evening News , Jet2 said: "In response to local measures introduced throughout Spain to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of bars, restaurants, shops and activities including any water sports, we have taken the decision to cancel all flights to Mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands with immediate effect.

"We know these local measures will have a significant impact on our customers’ holidays, which is why we have taken this decision.

"We are contacting our customers who are currently in these destinations, and who are due to travel, to advise them of their options, so we urge customers not to call us.

"This is a fast-moving and complex situation and we are reviewing our programme as a matter of urgency, so that we can fly customers back to the UK.

"The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we would like to thank our customers for their understanding."

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all but essential travel to certain parts of Spain earlier this week.

Destinations included Madrid La Rioja and the municipalities of La Bastida, Vitoria and Miranda de Ebro.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move to close Spain "will protect all its citizens" and "guarantee" the right conditions to tackle the deadly virus.

He said: "The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible."

  • Coronavirus

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