SPAIN’S most famous wine-growing region will test all workers for COVID-19 before the 2020 harvest.

Grape pickers in Alava will need the all clear before they are allowed to start work at vineyards in one of the country’s highest producing Rioja regions.

The health department will carry out the PCR tests and those who are able to work will be be given individual baskets and scissors to avoid the contamination.

Seasonal pickers living in temporary accommodation were hit hard by the virus over the summer months which lead to local lockdowns in fruit-growing areas across the nation.

Authorities in the Basque Country, looking to avoid another lockdown, have made it compulsory for wine estates to provide a list of workers.

About 6,000 seasonal workers are employed in the Rioja harvesting campaign in the Basque Country’s Alava and the neighbouring region of La Rioja.

However La Rioja has not yet imposed mandatory testing as a condition of work.

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