Spain has officially imposed a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, with 47 million citizens ordered to stay home in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the lockdown in a televised address to the nation, with Spain being the second European country after Italy to take such measures.

Sánchez told citizens that they must only leave home for essential reasons, be that going to work, attending medical appointments or buying food.

Bars, restaurants and hotels around the country have been closed, extending a measure that had already been taken in certain regions.

Schools and universities have also been shut, and religious services halted. The current restrictions are in place for 15 days, but the state of emergency may be extended.

“There is no question that we will win this fight,” the Prime Minister said in his address. “The question is whether we will pay the smallest price for the victory.”

Overnight, UK carrier Jet2 cancelled all flights to the mainland, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, which meant in some cases that planes were turned around in midair.

There are 6315 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain, where there have so far been 191 deaths reported, and 517 recoveries. It is the hardest-hit region in Europe outside of Italy.

Image: Getty Images / Clara Margais