Spain’s regions seek tighter restrictions as Covid-19 cases tick up

Spain’s Catalonia region plans to demand proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test for entry to bars, restaurants and stadiums, while other regions are pushing for similar restrictions to reduce rising infection rates .

That is the latest wave of infections in Spain, which has fully vaccinated a whopping 79 percent of its population, well below levels seen in Austria and the Netherlands, but officials see the risk of it spiraling out of control. Is.

Catalan regional government spokesman Patricia Plaza told reporters that the administration would seek judicial approval for the Covid pass “to reduce the risk of infection and avoid overloading the health system”.

Mandatory COVID passes, as they are seen as a violation of fundamental civil liberties, require sign-off from regional courts, whose responses to government requests have been mixed.

Catalonia, a prosperous northeastern region, has a 14-day infection rate of 183 cases per 100,000 people, well above the Spanish average of 132 and a mark of 150 considered “high risk”.

A COVID pass is already required to enter nightclubs.

Nationwide occupancy of intensive care beds by COVID patients averages 5 pc, but some regions such as Catalonia and Aragon are above 11 pc.

In Navarre, from coastal Catalonia to the Pyrenees, officials said they would seek court approval on Wednesday for Covid passes in restaurants and nightclubs during the Christmas holiday season.

A court in the neighboring Basque region rejected a petition for Covid passes to restaurants, with officials saying they could declare a health emergency if the pressure on hospitals worsens.

If approved, strict restrictions could undermine Spain’s hopes of luring millions of tourists to vacation, but the government is upbeat that tourism will reach 66% of pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter.

“We have strengthened our image as a safe destination across the European context, expecting more tourists for Christmas than for the 2021 summer season,” Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdés told Reuters.

To combat the surge in infections, Spain is offering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines to people aged 60 and over, health workers and vulnerable groups, and plans to do so for a wider population. Is.

Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *