Two people who travelled from the United States to the Spanish region of Valencia have tested positive for coronavirus, potentially becoming Spain's first imported cases of the virus since travel restrictions were imposed in mid-March.
With more than 27,000 deaths and nearly 238,000 confirmed cases of the virus, Spain is among Europe´s worst-hit nations.
Imported cases practically vanished after it closed its borders and locked down its population on March 14, but authorities will be closely monitoring for any resurgence when the tourism-dependent country reopens in July.
Situated on Spain's Mediterranean coast, Valencia is home to tourist resorts such as Benidorm and Alicante. It will move to phase 2 of a four-stage easing process on Monday, with gatherings of up to 15 people allowed and some restrictions on movement lifted.
Regional Health Councillor Ana Barcelo said the travellers had likely not complied with a mandatory two-week quarantine after arriving in Spain.
"They have not travelled directly to Valencia, but stopped at midpoint airports and we don't know exactly the route they took, or if they finally travelled to Valencia by car or by plane", she told a news conference on Thursday.
Valencian authorities did not disclose any more details, such as the travellers' nationality, when contacted by Reuters on Friday.