Spain’s 17 regions leaning towards keeping borders closed over Easter

Spain's 17 regions leaning towards keeping borders closed over Easter
Spain's 17 regions have in principal agreed to close their borders during the week leading up to Easter Sunday, but no official deal has yet been reached and the Canaries may stay open.

Spanish authorities said Thursday they had reached a premilimary agreement with all of Spain’s autonomous communities to ban travel between different regions during Easter to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure – which still must be officially approved next week – means people will not be able to leave their home region to visit family or go to holiday homes in another region during what is traditionally a peak travel period.

The only region that is likely to stay open over Easter is the Canary Islands. The islands are currently open to visitors and it has been confirmed that they will be open for visitors over Easter too. You will need to present a negative test result no older than 72 hours before arrival and have accommodation booked in advance. 

The travel restrictions are needed to prevent the spread of new virus variant , said secretary of state for health, Silsva Calzon. “We are at an absolutely critical moment,” she told a news conference.

Spain saw a huge spike in coronavirus infections in January after travel restrictions were eased over Christmas to allow families to get together.

But after a post-Christmas surge in which daily infections exceeded 40,000, Spain’s third wave is receding, with the two-week incidence rate falling to 153 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday from 900 at the end of January.

Spain’s traditional Easter processions, featuring flower-covered floats topped with effigies of Christ or the Virgin Mary and penitents in distinctive pointy hoods, have been cancelled this year for the second year in a row because of the pandemic.

The country has been hard-hit by the pandemic, recording over 70,000 deaths from more than 3.1 million cases.


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