13 Jul, 2021 @ 11:13
1 min read

Fifth wave puts Spain back among top COVID-19 infection zones in Europe

2021w25 2021w26 Covid Subnational (2)

Spain is in the grip of a fifth wave of infections that have placed it among the top three danger zones in the European Union.

A map of EU nations produced by the ECDC shows Spain and its neighbour Portugal tinted dark red based on the number of new infections while most of the rest of the continent is yellow or pale orange.

Only Cyprus currently has a higher infection rate than the Iberian peninsula.

2021w25 2021w26 Covid Subnational 2
That is the chromatic scale used by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to warn of the risks of traveling to EU.

The latest data from Spain’s health ministry published on Monday July 12 shows that Spain as a whole has a cumulative infection rate over 14 days of 368 cases per 10,000 people.

Infection rates are rising across Spain but have spiked in Catalunya where it has reached 725.59 cases per 10,000 people, followed by Castilla y Leon with 660,73 cases per 100,000, Navarra with 548,10 cases per 10,000.

By comparison the UK has a current rate of 583.4 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days, while France has 63.6 and Germany a mere 11.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The huge rise in infections across Spain has caused some regional authorities to re-introduce measures including curfews and curbs on nightlife.

The rise in infections have led some countries to tighten restrictions on travellers returning from Spain.

Germany categorised Spain as a simple risk area on July 11 and France has advised its citizens not to travel there although no ban has yet been imposed.

The UK however will from July 19 allow returning travellers from mainland Spain (which is currently on the amber list) to avoid quarantine if they can present proof of full vaccination by the NHS.

The Balearic Islands remain on the UK’s green list although the infection rate has now risen across the islands to 277,41 cases per 100,000 people.

The surge in infections across Spain have been blamed on a relaxation of restrictions plus greater socializing among the younger generation who have yet to be vaccinated.

However, unlike in previous waves, the fifth wave has yet to see a corresponding rise in hospitalizations.

Only 3.24% of all hospital beds are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients across Spain rising to 7.87% of patients in intensive care units.

Spain’s vaccination programme is progressing to plan with a total of 59% percent of the population having received at least one dose of the vaccine and 45.9% already fully vaccinated.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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