CORONAVIRUS

Covid-19 restrictions extended in parts of Spain as cases keep rising

Galicia will require proof of vaccination or negative tests to enter bars, while Catalonia and Valencia are introducing a night curfew in more municipalities

The latest report from Spain’s Health Ministry shows that a total of 30,587 coronavirus infections were detected in the previous 24 hours, while 18 victims were added to the overall death toll. The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 644, a rise of 22 points on the day before.

Wednesday’s report shows that infections are rising in all Spanish regions except in Catalonia, where they fell by a point. That territory still has the highest incidence, however, at 1,239 per 100,000. It is followed by Navarre with 925 and Castilla y León with 915.

Infections among young people – the worst-affected segment of the population in this fifth wave of the pandemic – are starting to slow, having risen 228 points to 1,866 cases per 100,000 over 14 days, according to Wednesday’s report.

There are currently 7,255 Covid-19 patients in hospital, the report stated, up 399 on the day before. The occupation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds, meanwhile, is still rising and is now at 12.92%.

The number of daily victims is holding steady at around 20, and came in on Wednesday at 18. In the last week, seven regions have not registered any coronavirus victims. In total, there have ben 4,219,723 confirmed infections in Spain, while 81,166 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Below is a summary of the epidemiological situation and current restrictions in some of Spain’s regions.

Galicia

The regional government in Galicia has decided that from Saturday, a vaccination certificate or negative coronavirus test will be needed to enter indoor spaces of bars and cafeterías in 36 municipalities, including Vigo, Ourense, Pontevedra, O Grove and Sanxenxo. This requirement, which has also been introduced in France and Greece, was already being applied in nightlife venues across the region.

Regional authorities have also closed nightlife venues in municipalities with a high level of coronavirus infection – a measure that affects 35% of the Galician population, nearly a million people. Galicia has not reported a single Covid-19 death for the second day in a row.

Catalonia

A nighttime curfew will be enforced tomorrow from midnight in 165 municipalities, up from 161, following authorization from the regional High Court. The restriction will be in place until July 30, but the regional government has already announced this date will likely be extended.

The Catalan government spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, warned residents of the region on Thursday that Covid-19 restrictions would be in place for the whole of the summer, given the forecast that pressure on hospitals is likely to continue to increase in the coming weeks. “We are far from being able to relax,” she said.

Plaja said that the curfew would be reviewed “from week to week” to avoid “normalizing” a restriction that “violates fundamental rights.” For the last two weeks, all non-essential activity in Catalonia has had to end at 3am, social meetings are limited to 10 people, and the use of masks is recommended at all times.

There are nearly 2,000 Covid-19 patients in Catalan hospitals at the moment, with a further 440 in intensive care units. Another 7,500 infections were confirmed in the previous 24 hours, although this daily figure is starting to fall slightly. Seventeen Covid-19 fatalities were also reported in the last day.

Balearic Islands

The regional High Court in the Balearic Islands has authorized a ban on social meetings between people from different households in public and private from 1 to 6am. This will apply to the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca. There is a similar ban for Formentera from 2 to 6am. The restriction has been approved for one month.

Valencia region

The regional High Court in Valencia has agreed to extend a 1am-6am curfew to 77 municipalities, up from 32 (see bottom box for the full list). A total of 2.6 million people will now be subject to the measure, more than half of the population of the region.

The regional government is also capping social meetings at10 people, both indoors and outdoors. Capacity at large events is limited to 50%, with a maximum of 1,500 people.

Madrid

The more infectious delta variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in India, now accounts for more than 88% of infections in the Madrid region, said health chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero. Infections are still rising in Madrid, with 4,094 reported on Wednesday for the previous 24 hours. Pressure on the region’s hospitals is also on the rise.

The 14-day cumulative incidence in Madrid has risen to an average of 485.3 cases per 100,000, but some northwest municipalities have much higher figures: Pozuelo de Alarcón (772.1), Boadilla del Monte (735) and Majadahonda (645.8).

Murcia

The regional High Court has backed the Murcia government’s decision to set a 10-person limit on social gatherings between people from different households. The measure will be in place until August 3, unless authorities decide to modify or cancel it before that date.

Andalusia

The southern region will next week begin vaccinating young people between the ages of 16 and 20, said Andalusian premier Juan Manuel Moreno. Around 75% of over-16s in the region have received one dose of a vaccine, while 65% have been fully vaccinated.

Aragón

The regional government will ask the courts for permission to limit mobility between 1am and 6am in the cities of Huesca, Jaca, Monzón and Barbastro.

Cantabria

The northern region will ask the courts for permission to extend the 1am-6am curfew currently affecting 53 municipalities for a further 14 days “if the data do not improve.” The curfew went into effect on July 17 and was initially set to end on July 30, but regional health authorities said the government of Cantabria will have to seek an extension.

With reporting by Cristina Vázquez, María Fabra, Caridad Bermeo and Bernat Coll.

English version by Simon Hunter.

Have you heard our Spanish news podcast ¿Qué? Each week we try to explain the curious, the under-reported and sometimes simply bizarre news stories that are often in the headlines in Spain.

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