Spain reintroduces Covid-19 restrictions

The high number of cases among those under 30 is slowly pushing up the rate of hospital admissions

A busy street in downtown Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday, July 3. AP
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Spanish regions are returning to curfews and caps on socialising to contain a sharp rise in coronavirus infections as the Delta variant spreads quickly, mainly through unvaccinated young people.

Catalonia and Valencia, the two regions on the Mediterranean coast with major virus outbreaks, are limiting social gatherings to 10 people and bringing back late-night curbs on all activities.

The northern Asturias region on Monday banned indoor service at bars and restaurants.

Helped by parties to mark the end of the school year and the first summer celebrations, the two-week Covid-19 caseload is more than three times higher among residents under 30 than for the total population.

The closely watched rate rose nationally on Monday to 368 cases for every 100,000 residents, said Fernando Simon, who co-ordinates Spain’s response to health emergencies.

Dr Simon said that although younger patients typically did not need intensive care treatment, the high number of cases among young people was slowly pushing up the rate of hospital admissions.

“We are not recording an increase in mortality and we hope that we don’t reach there,” he said.

Spain has fully vaccinated more than 21 million people, or 46 per cent of its total population, but only 600,000 of those are under 30, which is the next target group for shots.

Updated: July 14, 2021, 11:15 AM