Spain is introducing a state of emergency and Italy is tightening its lockdown, while Denmark and Poland have become the latest countries to shut their borders to most travellers in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases in Spain have risen by 1,500 to more than 5,700, public health officials say.

With 191 deaths and 6,046 infections, Spain is the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy, which declared a nationwide lockdown on Monday. 

Italy has seen 1,266 deaths and 17,660 infections.

Jet2 flights to Spain have been forced to turn back in mid-air over fears of the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Jet2 flights to Spain from Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and East Midlands cancelled and turn back in mid air amid coronavirus fears 

Five flights from the UK have been suspended over France and turned around to return to their origins.

China — where the virus first emerged late last year — is seeing new cases continue to dwindle, but Covid-19 has in recent weeks spread exponentially in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

More than 145,000 infections and over 5,400 deaths had been confirmed worldwide.

READ MORE: US to add UK to European coronavirus travel ban list

Europe has become the epicentre of the pandemic, with countries imposing a cascade of restrictions in efforts to prevent their health systems collapsing under a load of cases.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: More cases expected as country battles pandemic 

Schools, bars and shops not selling essential goods are among the facilities being closed in many places.

Spain’s cabinet met on Saturday to declare a two-week state of emergency and announce more measures to control the outbreak which has spiked sharply in recent days to more than 5,700 infections, with almost 3,000 in the capital Madrid. Spain had recorded 120 Covid-19 deaths.