British holidaymakers looking to flee winter for some Spanish sun may want to think again before they book as cases of coronavirus have trebled.

The country now has the world's fifth-highest total of cases with 1,622 infections and 35 deaths – up a whopping 1,033 from Sunday.

Its capital Madrid is undergoing drastic measures to prevent the deadly bug from spreading, putting the country’s tourist season in doubt.

Millions of Brits flock to Spain for their summer holiday every year, but if cases continue to rise, the government of Catalonia has said it will implement strict measures to stop the spread.

Events across the country have been cancelled or changed with Barcelona's Champions League match with Napoli on March 18 scheduled to take place indoors.

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Hotel group Room Mate is shutting the doors of six of its hotels in Madrid for 15 days in a bid to meet government efforts.

It is the only hotel group in Spain to announce such closures and has said the move is a "responsible act of solidarity" in line with the government's "extraordinary" measures.

Jorge Marichal, the president of the Spain Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Apartments told The Local that the industry has suffered "significant cancellations" and that reservations had fallen by 20 to 30 per cent.

Despite the concerns over the tourism industry by the Spanish government, the Foreign Office has not yet warned against travel to Spain.

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The Foreign Office advice states: “There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, but cases have been confirmed in other countries, including Spain.

“You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.”

Spain has seen a rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases in the last three days with the number of cases rising to five times the amount in the UK.

The UK had a total of 373 cases as of 9am on Tuesday morning – a rise of 54 from the previous day – with a further nine cases confirmed by health officials in Wales .

  • Spain
  • Coronavirus

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