ANYONE travelling to another region from December 23 should start to self-isolate as much as possible, the Spanish Government has advised.
Head of the Centre for Emergencies Fernando Simon made a plea Monday night for would-be travellers to ‘be careful with their social interactions’ from this week to avoid becoming infected and ‘exporting the virus’ home.
The epidemiologist sounded the alarm after Health Minister Salvador Illa revealed there had been 21,309 new cases detected over the weekend.
The figure is a marked increase from the 17,681 recorded last Monday and caused, for the first time in weeks, an increase in the cumulative incidence rate, rising from 189 cases per 100,000 people on Friday to 193.65 cases.
However it is still lower than the rate of 215 cases per 100,000 people announced last Monday.
It comes just days before regions like Andalucia will be loosening restrictions further, including allowing for travel between its eight provinces.
And between December 23 and January 6, anyone in Spain will be allowed to travel to another region to visit and stay with family.
Meanwhile, a total of 389 people lost their lives to coronavirus over the weekend, only six fewer than last weekend.
It suggests the death toll is proving more difficult to bring down, with the total number of victims reaching 48,013 as of Monday.
Hospitalisations are also staying static, although 86 coronavirus sufferers have been admitted since Friday, bringing the total to 11,736 (9.61% of hospital beds).
The story is repeated in intensive care units, where 21.68% of beds were taken up by coronavirus as of Monday, only down by 0.3% compared with Friday.
“We are in a delicate situation,” said Simon, who said the country could still see a surge in cases as a result of the recent bank holiday weekend over the next week or so.
But, according to the Health Ministry, many regions may look to re-tighten the measures over the Christmas period at the inter-regional meeting on Wednesday.
Simon said on Sunday that individual responsibility is key.
“Naturally the relaxation of some measures allows for certain social and economic activity, but that doesn’t mean we relax our own measures on a personal level, including when with family and friends,” Simon said.
“The measures that relate to each and every one of us should not be relaxed.”