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COVID-19

The new Covid-19 restrictions for Three Kings’ Day across Spain

Several regions across Spain have announced new Covid-19 restrictions for the Three Kings' festival and following days. Here's a look at some of the main restrictions to take note of.

The new Covid-19 restrictions for Three Kings' Day across Spain
Image: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Madrid

From Monday, January 4th, new restriction measures regarding movement have come into force, which will affect more than half a million citizens. Movement has been restricted in 18 different health regions and five different municipalities. Everyone is prohibited from entering or leaving each area, except for justified reasons.

These areas include Marques de la Valdavia and Alcobendas-Chopera in Alcobendas; Las Olivas and Aranjuez, in Aranjuez; San Fernando and Los Alperchines in San Fernando de Henares; Virgen del Cortijo, in the district of Hortaleza de Madrid capital; and the area of Torrelodones, which includes the municipalities of Torrelodones and Hoyo de Manzanares. 

These restrictions are also in place for the smaller areas of Ciempozuelos, Navalcarnero, Algete, Mejorada del Campo and Villarejo de Salvanés. 

All these areas have recorded more than 400 Covid-19 cases per 100,00 inhabitants. Currently, these measures are in place for 14 days until January 18th, but will not be applicable on Three Kings' or Reyes Day on January 6th.  

Catalonia

Catalonia announced new restrictions and extensions to the Covid regulations. From January 7th, the borders between municipalities will be closed from Monday to Sunday.

Stores can only open if they do not exceed 400 square metres and shopping centres will be closed. At weekends, all shops will close except the most essential. Bars and restaurants will keep their current restrictions opening for breakfast from 7.30am to 9.30am and for lunch from 1.30pm to 3.30pm only.

Six people only can meet, apart from on Three Kings’ Day eve, when up to 10 can meet, providing they’re not from more than two different households.

Valencia

Because of the dramatic increase in cases and hospitalisations in Valencia, The Union of Community Consumers has asked for extreme measures to be taken to decentralise shopping for Three Kings’ Day to avoid “unnecessary crowds which impede compliance with social distancing”.

A curfew will be in place for Three Kings' Day from 11pm and the border around Valencia will remain closed until at least January 15.

Andalusia

Up until January 6, a maximum of 10 people will be able to meet for family celebrations and dinners, but only if they are cohabiting. No more than two different households can join together.

Eight municipalities near Gibraltar have been forced to close their borders, due to the increase in infections there, and the area of Peñón has also been forced into confinement for four days.  

Until January 10th, shops and other establishments can stay open until 9pm and bars can open in two shifts, from the morning until 6pm and from 8pm to 10.30pm.

The Andalusian government was due to meet on January 4th to discuss whether current measures will be extended past January 10th.

Balearic Islands

A curfew of 10pm will remain in place all week, even on Three Kings’ Day. Bars, cafes and restaurants in Mallorca continue to close at 6pm and shops, except those which sell essential items, will close by 8pm.

Family gatherings for Three Kings' Day will be limited to six people, except in Ibiza, where up to 10 can meet.

Formentera has also restricted social gatherings to a maximum of six people, both indoors and outdoors.

Canary Islands

A curfew of 11pm remains in place for the islands and up to 10 people are allowed to meet for Three Kings’ Day celebrations. Bars and restaurants can stay open until people need to leave to get home before curfew.

Murcia

The border of Murcia will open on January 6 to allow family members only to visit relatives. Nine municipalities currently have border closures. Shops will only be allowed to open until 6pm on January 5 and 6 and there is a curfew in place from 11pm.

A maximum of six people can meet, apart from on Three Kings’ Day, when 10 people can meet for celebratory dinners.

Basque Country

The borders of the Basque Country are currently closed and a curfew remains in place from 10pm. A maximum of six people are allowed for Kings’ Day celebrations and dinners.

Authorities in the Basque Country were due to meet on January 4th, to decide if more restrictions should be put in place.

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COVID-19 RULES

What are Spain’s current rules for asymptomatic and mild Covid cases?

Spain is currently experiencing an eighth Covid wave. For those who test positive during the summer of 2022, here's a reminder of all the rules and recommendations you need to be aware of, concerning asymptomatic, mild and serious cases.

What are Spain's current rules for asymptomatic and mild Covid cases?

No one wants to get Covid, particularly when the summer season is approaching and many have booked their annual holidays.

But if you do find that you test positive for Covid-19, here’s what you need to know about Spain’s current health rules. 

Whatever questions you have, from wanting to know if you still need to get an official test or inform your doctor, to whether you can go outside and if you need to wear a face mask, we’ve got you covered. 

Q: What if I get Covid but don’t have any symptoms?

A: If you are asymptomatic, in other words you test positive for Covid-19 but don’t experience any symptoms, then it’s not necessary to self-isolate and you are not required to quarantine at home.

Spain’s quarantine requirement for asymptomatic cases was dropped as of March 28th 2022.

However, the health body that advises Spain’s Health Ministry recommends that you still stay at home and rest and that if you do go out, you wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that you keep social contact to a minimum for a week. 

Q: What if I have mild Covid symptoms?

A: If you have mild Covid symptoms, you fall into the same category as those who have no symptoms for Spanish health authorities.

This means that while it’s not mandatory to isolate at home, you should still rest, wear a mask indoors and outdoors and avoid social contact.

The obligatory quarantine for mild cases was also scrapped as of March 28th, 2022.

Q: What if I have severe Covid symptoms?

A: If you have serious Covid symptoms, Spain’s Health Ministry continues to require a quarantine period of seven days, meaning that it’s mandatory.

It is also still required for those classified as part of the high-risk or vulnerable population, which includes those aged 60 or older, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women. 

Q: Am I allowed to go outside if I have Covid?

A: Yes, as mentioned above, if you have mild or asymptomatic symptoms you are allowed to go outside while you have Covid. However, you should limit your contact with others for a week to make sure you’re not putting others at risk. You should aim to stay at home as much as possible until your symptoms disappear.

Keep in mind that you are highly contagious in the first few days of the illness, so you may want to avoid going out during that time.

Q: Can I go to events if I have Covid-19?

A: Yes, you can leave the house if you have Covid-19, but as you’re expected to limit your contact with others, going to a large event with hundreds of people is not recommended. You could unknowingly be putting vulnerable people at risk. Health authorities still recommend that you avoid gatherings for at least a week after a positive test. 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask if I test positive?

A: The Spanish Health Ministry has confirmed that those who have Covid must wear a mask for “ten days from the diagnosis” of the virus.

They should be worn indoors, as well as outdoors, if a distance can’t be maintained from others. Experts recommend using the FFP2 masks during this time because even if your symptoms are mild, you can still be contagious.

READ ALSO: How likely is it that Spain will make face masks mandatory indoors again?

Q: Can I go to work if I have Covid-19?

A: If you have mild or asymptomatic Covid-19, although the recommendation is to work from home or take sick leave, you can still go in.

However, the health authorities recommend that you wear a mask, avoid contact with vulnerable people and avoid enclosed spaces with little ventilation.

Q: Is it necessary to get officially tested?

A: No, it’s not necessary to get a PCR or antigen done at your local health centre or at a private clinic any more. An antigen test bought from a pharmacy and performed at home will suffice.

Only those with serious symptoms and high-risk groups should get tested now. Although you it’s not necessary anymore to confirm your infection with a test, it’s still useful to test yourself at home so you can avoid contact with others if it’s positive and know when you can get back to life as normal.

Q: Do I have to tell my doctor if I have or have recently had Covid?

A: No, it’s not necessary for everyone to call their doctor if they have Covid, because not all cases are being counted by authorities anymore.

You may, however, still need to call your doctor if you need to sick leave from work. Those in Catalonia will be given an automatic five-day sick leave if they have Covid symptoms, even if they don’t take a test.  

If you are over the age of 60, are immunosuppressed or are in a high risk group, it’s still a good idea to tell your doctor if you test positive.

Q: What do I do if I have come into close contact with someone who has Covid-19?

A: If you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid, it’s not necessary for you to take a test or to self-isolate.

The health authorities do recommend that you take precautions though, such as limiting social interactions, wearing a mask and avoid vulnerable people.

Remember that the days before you test positive, but after you have been exposed to the virus are when you are the most contagious. 

Q: What if I get Covid while on holiday in Spain?

A: If you have a mild or asymptomatic case of Covid-19 while on holiday in Spain, you don’t have to quarantine and you don’t have to inform the local health authorities, unless you are in a vulnerable category.

Like above, Spain’s Health Ministry only recommends that you stay at home and rest, that if you do have to go out you wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that you keep social contact to a minimum for a week.

Different countries have different rules so you may not be able to travel home if you have Covid and may have to wait until you test negative.

READ MORE: What tourists should do if they get Covid while on holiday in Spain? 

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