Spain considers bringing back Covid restrictions

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Andalusia in Spain, is the first major destination to hint that new regulations could be introduced. The region includes popular Costa del Sol hotspots.

Juanna Moreno, the president of the regional Government, has asked for “maximum precautions”.

He admitted that he wouldn’t rule out the “adoption of preventative measures” and said he preferred to be “far sighted”.

Meanwhile, Majorca has already advised local people and tourists to wear masks inside although the island’s health chief has said this is a matter of choice for now.

Mr Moreno expressed concern about the millions of infections in China and the possibility that a new strain could overcome vaccines.

Andalucia’s health committee is due to meet on January 17 so experts can give their opinions on the present situation and “shed light on how we can address some of the aspects which are worrying us,” said Moreno.

He added: “Prevention is better than cure and it is better to be two little steps in front rather than two little steps behind.

“I prefer to err on the side of foresight and that we go ahead with decisions in case we had some sort of incident that we hope and trust won’t occur.”

However, Moreno assured people that Andalucia had a robust health system to deal with any incident.

Tourists could also face more restrictions in popular destinations in the Balearics where they have been urged to be vigilant.

Patricia Gomez, minister of health for the Balearic Government, said the use of masks indoors was recommended but not mandatory for now.

She said: “We all know that it is in closed spaces when the virus circulates actively. The mask is a preventive measure.”

Gomez added there were currently no indications that the islands would need to return to the mandatory use of masks inside.

Currently, tourists and residents need to wear a mask on public transport, inside planes and in health centres, including pharmacies.

Spain has reinstated mandatory vaccination and testing requirements for all passengers arriving from China.

All other tourists, including those from the UK, do not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Tourists should follow the advice of local authorities on how best to protect themselves from the virus.

Spain’s face mask rules

Mandatory:

  • On any form of public transport in Spain
  • Visiting a hospital or medical centre (including dentists, pharmacies, opticians)
  • Visiting a care or nursing home

Recommended:

  • Enclosed public spaces
  • At large events
  • When in the company of people considered at risk where distancing of 1.5m can’t be maintained
  • At family gatherings
  • In any other enclosed communal space open to the public

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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