Madrid wants vaccine priority for teachers, waiters and shop staff

Madrid wants vaccine priority for teachers, waiters and shop staff
Photo: AFP
Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso revealed that her government was studying prioritizing those who work in professions that put them in close contact with others in the next phase of the mass vaccination programme.

“We have analyzed the possibility of fast-tracking those who work in highly exposed sectors, such as teachers, waiters, supermarket cashiers and taxi-drivers,” Díaz Ayuso wrote on Twitter.   

But she agreed that the immediate priority was to improve the supply and immunize those most at risk from the virus. “The first thing is to have vaccines and for the most vulnerable,” she insisted.

Last week Madrid was forced to delay its vaccination campaign as doses ran out.

But regional authorities are given little say in the order in which groups are given the vaccine, as the policy is determined by Spain’s central government for implementation at a regional level.

Ayuso raised the issue in a meeting with leaders from the hospitality sector in Madrid on Monday.

She also said that Madrid would begin to relax restrictions in restaurants hopefully by the end of the week.

From Friday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to gather at outdoor terrazas, up from the current limit of four.

Currently all establishments including shops, bars and restaurants must close by 9pm and people must be home by 10pm –  restrictions introduced on January 25and set to last until February 8.

But she suggested the curfew might once again be pushed back to midnight.

“In Madrid, we are doing everything in our power to keep our bars and restaurants and our cultural space open despite political pressure,” said the conservative regional leader, who has repeatedly clashed with the left-wing central government on how to tackle the pandemic.

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