With infections beginning to rise, and the new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus Omicron now representing 47% of all new cases, Spain may impose new safety measures ahead of the holidays.
Fearing that restrictions would negatively affect the economy, Spain ruled out curfews and lockdowns in favor of increased vaccinations. However, now with the R rate at over 500 cases per 100,000 people, the fear is we may see new restrictions imposed as early as tomorrow. In a televised statement on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the presidents of all of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions would attend an emergency meeting online on Wednesday afternoon. The meeting is being held to evaluate new measures that can be put in place over the next few weeks.” To avoid the situation we had last Christmas where each region had its own set of rules, the feeling is that it needs to be a common approach.
So what can we expect?
- The return of wearing a face mask while outside when a safe distance cannot be met
- A curfew on bars, restaurants, and places of entertainment. Ireland, for example, now requires all pubs to be shut from 20:00
- A standard COVID-19 passport that will be recognized in all regions
- Limit public and private gatherings
- A cut to the capacity of people allowed in restaurants and bars
The United Kingdom, where Omicron is much worse than in Spain, decided yesterday not to bring in any new restrictions over the holidays. Whether or not Spain will act the same way, we will have to wait until tomorrow evening to find out.