Saturday 14 March 2020 1:46 pm

Coronavirus: Spanish cases jump by 1,500 as Ryanair joins Jet2 in cancelling flights to Spain

Spain has had a 1,500 rise in confirmed coronavirus cases today, the country’s public health officials have said.

It brings the total to 5,753, almost of half of which are in Madrid.

Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 136.

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Spain has more cases of coronavirus than any other country in Europe except for Italy, which has more than 17,000 and is already in complete lockdown.

The Spanish government is set to meet today to declare a national state of emergency for just the second time in history.

Ryanair has today warned it will dramatically slash the number of flights between the UK and Spain, including the the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands.

A Ryanair spokesperson said the airline will “continue to comply fully with all WHO and EASA guidelines and we will follow any travel restrictions that are imposed”.

Yesterday Jet2 flights from the UK to Spain were forced to turn back mid-air after the airline cancelled all flights to the country.

The decision came in the wake of the escalating problems facing Spain and goes further than the advice issued by the Foreign Office yesterday.

The government had warned against all but essential travel to parts of Spain that have been hardest hit, including Madrid, La Rioja and the municipalities of La Bastida, Vitoria and Miranda de Ebro.

However, Jet2 has cancelled all flights to the Spanish mainland as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands.

“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,” a statement read.

“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.

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“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.”

The airline has already cancelled all flights to Italy as well as other destinations, including the Czech Republic, Austria, Malta and Cyprus.