Spain's Catalonia region to lift Covid curfew

AFP , Tuesday 18 Jan 2022

Catalonia will on Friday lift a Covid-19 curfew imposed just before Christmas but other social distancing measures will remain in force in the northern Spanish region.

The fighting between vaccines and COVID-19 seen by drawings of children displayed on a wall on occasion of Christmas days at San Pedro Hospital, Spain, Tuesday, Jan.18. 2022. AP

"Restrictions on night-time movements will remain in place until January 21. After that date, it will be possible to move around the streets of Catalonia as normal," regional government spokeswoman Patricia Plaja said.

"We haven't hit peak (infections) yet but the trend shows the sixth wave is slowing down," she added.

The Covid infection rate in Catalonia, a region of 7.7 million inhabitants which relies heavily on tourism, is higher than the national average.

The percentage of Covid patients in intensive care stands at 44 percent (577 patients), nearly twice the national average of 24 percent.

Since December 23, it has been illegal to be outside between the hours of 1 am and 6 am in the regional capital, Barcelona, and other towns of more than 10,000 inhabitants.

While that measure is now being lifted, other coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia will remain in force, including halving the number of people allowed into bars and restaurants, shuttering night clubs and banning private gatherings of more than 10 individuals.

The region continues to be stricter than the capital, Madrid, in requiring the public to show a Covid vaccination certificate to enter bars and restaurants.

Spain has witnessed a surge in infections since December and prevalence is currently among the highest in Europe.

The country has one of the continent's highest vaccination rates and 90.5 percent of over-12s are double-jabbed.

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