Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’
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Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s president, held an emergency meeting with regional leaders on December 22. He said that Christmas celebrations could go ahead despite soaring Covid cases.
Sanchez told Spanish Congress: “Parents and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers will be able to come together with their children and grandchildren.
“The truth is that, faced with such a great calamity, Spain has resisted, it has not been defeated and is advancing.”
Spain experienced a record number of Covid cases on Tuesday, its highest number since the pandemic began.
Almost 50,000 cases were reported on December 21 while 94 deaths from Covid were recorded.
Despite the rising cases, Sanchez said that the way out of the pandemic was through vaccination.
However, the Spanish president has agreed to reinstate mask wearing outdoors throughout Spain.
Several regional leaders in Spain had requested that face masks be mandatory outdoors due to increasing cases.
According to Spanish newspaper, El País, the measure will be approved at a special Cabinet meeting on December 23.
Currently, residents and tourists must wear a face mask outside if social distancing can’t be maintained.
However, the new rule set to be in place by Christmas Eve will require masks to be worn outdoors at all times.
Andalusia and Valencia, two regions popular with British tourists, had requested mandatory outdoor masking be reinstated.
The measure had previously been scrapped on June 26 in Spain. Some experts are sceptical about the impact of outdoor face masks.
Face masks are already mandatory in indoor public areas in Spain as well as on public transport.
Some regions in Spain are already using a Covid passport which requires people to prove they are vaccinated, recently recovered or have a negative test.
Benidorm has introduced the measure for hospitality venues with capacity for over 50 people.
Spain has already banned unvaccinated British tourists over the age of 12 from entering the country.
The measure has reportedly had a heavy impact on the tourism industry in several Spanish resorts.
Those working in the industry in Benidorm said one British tour operator had cancelled 60,000 bookings for the winter season.
Due to the cancellations, some hotels in Benidorm were “forced” to close,according to a hospitality group.
British tourists are also said to have cancelled holidays due to the price of mandatory PCR tests in the UK.
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