Catalunya has announced it will tighten restrictions on socializing and nightlife after a surge in new coronavirus infections hit Spain.
The new rules come as health chiefs warn of a fifth wave fuelled by infections among unvaccinated young people.
Catalunya said on Tuesday that nightclubs will close again from Friday and any mass events will only be allowed to take place outdoors and with proof of either a negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination.
“We can’t pretend to have defeated the virus,” said Patricia Plaja, spokeswoman for the regional government.
“The pandemic has not ended, the new variants are very contagious and we still have significant segments of the population that are not vaccinated,” she said.
She urged Spain’s central government to consider reimposing compulsory facemasks outdoors, a measure that was lifted on June 26.
Meanwhile, regional health chiefs in Navarra announced that bars and nightclubs will go back to closing at 1:00 am instead of 3:00 am.
The Cantabria region last week took the decision to shut nightlife in 16 municipalities worst hit by new infections including the regional capital Santander.
Spain’s nationwide 14-day infection rate has soared over the last week to reach 204 cases per 100,000 people on Monday, up from 95 cases a week ago.
But the incidence rate rises to an average of over 600 cases per 100,000 among the younger generation, according to the latest health ministry figures.
Just over 40 percent of Spain’s 47 million people have now been fully vaccinated, but the share falls to one in 10 vaccinated in the 20-29 age group.
- Spain faces fifth wave this summer with surge in COVID-19 infections among younger generation
- Surge in new COVID-19 cases identifies Malaga as ‘extreme risk’ zone
- COVID-19 cases are EIGHT times higher than two weeks ago in Costa Blanca and Valencia areas of Spain