Spain’s health minister announced Wednesday that the country will reduce quarantine lengths for some people and impose more limits on sporting events as daily COVID-19 infections continue to break records.
“Right now, we are at an inflection point. We are faced with a variant that looks like it’s more contagious but provokes milder cases. We could be facing a paradigm shift, but I still want to be prudent and strategic,” said Carolina Darias.
From Thursday, people who have tested positive but are asymptomatic and non-vaccinated people who have been in close contact with a contagious person will have to isolate for seven days instead of 10.
The quarantine length will remain at 10 days for people with symptoms.
The policy change comes as Spain continues to register more cases than ever before – most of which are asymptomatic, according to the Health Ministry.
On Wednesday, Spain reported 100,760 new infections — the highest one-day surge on record but just over 1,000 more cases than were reported Tuesday. If the trend continues, Spain could be reaching a peak.
🔴ÚLTIMA HORA➡️ La Comisión de Salud Pública acuerda por unanimidad modificar el período de aislamiento de las personas con notificación positiva de Pruebas Diagnósticas de Infección Activa #COVID19
✔️Deberán hacer un aislamiento de 7 días frente a los actuales 10 días pic.twitter.com/8SXXIUrLzh
— Ministerio de Sanidad (@sanidadgob) December 29, 2021
However, Darias acknowledged “bottlenecks” in Spain’s testing as the test positivity rate jumped nearly two percentage points to 20.4%.
Meanwhile, more than 10,400 people are being treated for the disease in Spanish hospitals, an increase of nearly 3,000 from a week ago but still well below the figures from previous waves.
Another 78 people died on Wednesday, up 28 from the same day last week.
To help curb the contagion, Darias also announced that capacity will be reduced for sporting events. Now, outdoor stadiums will only be able to fill 75% of seats, while indoor venues will only be able to fill up to 50% of capacity.
While the country’s leaders will hold a meeting on the reopening of schools next week, she said Spain’s central government would continue to support a fully in-person education model.
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