Covid-19: Spain scraps self-isolation for asymptomatic and mild cases

From Monday March 28th, people in Spain who test positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms will no longer be required to quarantine for seven days. 

Covid-19: Spain scraps self-isolation for asymptomatic and mild 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. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

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. 

READ MORE: Spain to stop counting Covid infections except for serious cases 

“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.

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Spain calls for return of face masks indoors as Covid cases rise

Spain’s Health Ministry has recommended Spaniards put their masks back on in indoor public settings, calling for "caution" as the seventh coronavirus wave sees cases and hospitalisations rise across the country.

Spain calls for return of face masks indoors as Covid cases rise

Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias on Friday recommended people wear face masks again in indoor public settings as Covid cases and hospitalisations in late June and early July returned to levels not seen since February 2022.

Darias called for “caution” and “responsible mask usage” at a time of increased travel in Spain and with many doctors and nurses booking off time for their summer holidays.

Similar sentiments about the return of face masks indoors have already been shared by the health authorities in some of Spain’s other regions, including Catalonia and Madrid. 

Catalan Health Minister Josep Maria Argimon recommended that those recovering from Covid should continue to wear a mask due to the increase in Covid patients admitted to the ICU in the region, which has increased from 26 to 46 in the space of three weeks.  

Madrid Vice President Enrique Ossorio also suggested that masks should be reintroduced in certain situations, due to the rise of cases seen in the region. Masks should be worn by “vulnerable people, those who are immunosuppressed and those who are pregnant,” he argued.

Ossorio also recommended that the use of face masks be extended to enclosed public spaces and large events.

After two years of compulsory usage in indoor public settings, Spanish authorities lifted the indoor face mask rule on April 20th, having already removed the requirement for outdoors on February 10th


Spain’s Health Minister also urged that those aged 80 and over should receive a fourth Covid vaccine dose, but has not specified when this will happen, even though this was already been approved in early June.   

READ ALSO: Spain to offer fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to ‘entire population’

“The Health Ministry is going to continue working hand in hand with the advice of experts who’ve introduced an exemplary vaccination strategy,” Darias explained.

On Friday July 1st, 10,249 people were in hospital with Covid-19 in Spain, a figure not seen since February 17th 2022. As for ICU admissions, there were 449 Covid patients in total.

Madrid currently has a fortnightly infection rate of 1,500 cases per 100,00 inhabitants for people aged 60 and over, as Spain stopped counting each and every Covid-19 cases last March and focused only on serious infections and those affecting the elderly. 

That’s why experts are referring to this seventh coronavirus wave as the “silent” one, with no way of truly knowing how many people are getting infected or reinfected in Spain. 

Darias said that the Covid situation is being monitored carefully and that rise in cases is mainly down to the new omicron sub-variants BA4 and BA5, which are more transmissible but are milder than previous variants.

The Minister added that the Spanish government has provided its regions with medicines that are “very important” in the treatment of Covid, such as the antiviral Paxlovid, of which 344,000 sets of pills have been purchased, which help prevent an infected person from developing a serious illness, as well as Evusheld to protect people who do not generate their own antibodies.