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UK says Britons need to be alert when visiting Catalonia

barcelona beachThe Foreign and Commonwealth Office has amended its advisory for Britons travelling to the northeastern Catalonia region of Spain. The update was added last week and says British travellers should steer clear of any large groups of people and demonstrations.

The warning comes in the aftermath of the Cataluna Independence Referendum staged on the 1 October. Although the referendum was declared illegal beforehand, voters opted for secession from Spain with a resounding yes vote.

The FCO update notes that the autonomous community’s capital, Barcelona, has already seen rowdy protests. It carried on by adding that more demonstrations are expected here and in other parts of the state. These might include Tarragona, Manresa and Blanes.

The FCO explains that demonstrations often start off as peaceable affairs, but can turn violent in the blink of an eye. The advice also states that any protests are likely to impact on public transport and there are bound to be delays. If called for strikes get the green light, these will increase transportation issues.

More than two million voted for independence from Spain while the number of those who wanted to remain was less than 200,000, or eight per cent of the total vote. The referendum’s organisers says 43 per of the electorate cast votes.

Spain’s Constitutional Court had ruled that the referendum was unconstitutional on the 6 September. Prime-minister Mariano Rajoy says Spain will use all legal means to stop Catalonia leaving Spain.

At least 400,000 demonstrators gathered in Barcelona to voice support against independence from Spain on Sunday. Police say 900 people, including more than 30 officers, were injured in various scuffles and confrontations at the protest.

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