SPAIN’S Ministry of Health is proposing a tough package of measures to stop a new wave of COVID-19 cases being created over the Easter holiday period
Officials have written a report calling for the restrictions be adopted by all of Spain’s regions, which rules out any form of national domestic tourism, except within the actual regions themselves.
The proposal will be discussed on March 10 in a meeting between national health chiefs and regional leaders.
The report says: “Infection risks will be reduced in the coming months as the vaccine rolls out, but the Easter will not have seen enough vaccinations to get a significant reduction in risk. Measures have to be put into place to avoid another COVID-19 wave.”
Those measures are largely already in place over most of the country but there are concerns in some quarters that Madrid has been too cavalier in reducing restrictions.
Each of Spain’s regions has the right to form its own policy over fighting the coronavirus pandemic under the current State of Alarm rules that expire in early May.
Easter is an important travel period as families sometimes travel significant distances across Spain to reunite or to go to holiday homes in coastal areas.
Nearly every regional president has already called for their borders to continue to be closed over the holiday and the Ministry has suggested that should happen between March 26 and April 9.
In most cases that would see regions extend their current closures for an additional 14 days.
The proposed period would kick in before the start of Semana Santa(Holy Week) and for most of the following week.
The Ministry says all regions should run a curfew during the Easter fortnight between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am, again something that most areas have in place at the moment.
Another suggestion is that every region prohibits any kind of ‘mass’ event and that meetings in private or public areas are restricted to either four or six people.
They also want any form of social gathering involving non-family members to be barred in homes and other indoor venues.
A further recommendation is that students who study abroad or in a different Spanish region to where their family lives, are prevented from returning home for Easter.
The Ministry of Health is suggesting that the regions launch a advertising campaigns to combat ‘pandemic fatigue’.
With some form of restrictions in place for almost a year, the Ministry wants a positive spin on the Easter measures.
They want the angle taken that it will be the ‘last major effort’ to stop the spread of the coronavirus before mass vaccination makes an impact in Spain.