Spain is bringing to a close its compulsory period of quarantine for those who test positive for the coronavirus but don’t have serious symptoms, the country’s Public Health Commission announced last Tuesday.
The health body which advises Spain’s Health Ministry on which actions to take recommends that people with Covid-19 but who have mild or no symptoms still stay at home and rest, that if they go out they wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that they keep social contact to a minimum for a week.
Quarantines will remain mandatory for serious cases and those classified as part of the high-risk or vulnerable population, which includes those over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women.
A seven-day isolation period will also still be required from health staff who test positive for Covid-19.
In nursing homes and hospitals, quarantines will also continue to be mandatory regardless of people’s symptoms. The isolation period will last five days and can only end if 24 hours have passed without the person experiencing any symptoms.
These changes are part of Spanish health authorities’ strategy of focusing primarily on serious Covid cases, as evidenced recently when they decided to stop counting each and every new Covid-19 infection there is, and concentrate instead on monitoring high-risk groups and serious coronavirus cases.
It will also no longer be necessary for people with mild symptoms that could be related to Covid-19 to get tested to confirm their infection; only those with serious symptoms and high-risk groups have to get tested now.
“The high levels of immunity reached among the Spanish population have determined a change in the epidemiology of the coronavirus, which explains this transition to a different strategy,” the Public Health Commission said.
The health body hasn’t ruled out bringing back the seven-day isolation period for mild cases if the ICU and hospital bed occupancy by Covid patients reaches a high-risk level again.
In early March, Spain also lifted the mandatory isolation of unvaccinated people who were close contacts of positive cases.
After several weeks of falling coronavirus cases preceded by a rampant sixth wave which left five million infections, Spain’s fortnightly infection rate has now plateaued at around 450 cases per 100,000 people.