Healthplan Spain


Carolina Darias Spain Increases Covid Risk Level Thresholds Spain News

An agreement was reached on Monday to raise the current threshold of what represents ‘low’ and ‘high’ risk levels for Covid infections in Spain.

The country’s Public Health Commission reached the agreement as the country’s health authorities try to agree on what restrictions should be imposed ahead of the Christmas period.

Less than a week after the proposal to change Spain’s Covid traffic light system was refused by some regions, who considered them as ‘unnecessary’ and likely to ‘give a false sense of security to the public’, Spain’s Public Health Commission nonetheless decided to approve the changes.

According to the Spanish Health Minister, Carolina Darias (pictured), the new scale is modified to the pandemics current situation. The previous traffic light system was introduced when only 4 per cent of the eligible population had been vaccinated compared to the current 90 per cent and “Covid hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths have been drastically reduced”.

The new updated traffic light system will see the levels of risk raised across the Spanish regions.

The ‘low risk’ level will allow a 14-day cumulative incidence rate of 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 residents, instead of the previous 25 to 50 and will no longer be called the ‘new normal’. It will now be called ‘controlled circulation’.

As for the other levels, the ‘average’ level rises from 50 to 150 per 100,000 residents to between 100 and 300 cases. The ‘high’ level rises from150 to 250 per 100,000 residents to between 300 and 500 cases. The cumulative incidence rate that previously started at just 250 cases per 100,000 residents, will rise to more than 500 cases per 100,000 and will signify as being ‘very high risk’.

Spain’s autonomous communities, towns and cities are required to log their risk categories with the local authorities, when received, the authorities have the foundation to implement either lighter or tighter restrictions, as long as they get the backing of the local courts.

However, Spain’s Health Ministry and Public Health Commission are yet to confirm what the suitable restrictions for each new risk category should be if indeed there are any.

So how will Christmas look across Spain as far as Covid rules are concerned?

Well, currently it looks like Spain is heading towards a Christmas period where the rules could end up being different in all of its 17 regions. This is because Spain's national and regional governments are not on the same page when it comes to deciding on how to move forward with Covid measures ahead of the Christmas period.

Many regions have in fact called for the Covid health passport to be implemented in the hospitality industry in a bid to limit infections and hospitalisations amongst the 4 million people unvaccinated in Spain. They also want the national government to give them the powers to not have to ask for permission from the high courts.

However, the Health Minister, Carolina Darias has ruled out the possibility of administering the Covid health pass nationwide, saying that “The Supreme Court has laid the foundations and that’s the path to follow,” she also spoke about the Covid health pass "breaching fundamental rights."

The government previously proposed that all bars and restaurants in areas where Covid cases are spiking over Christmas, should close at 11 pm and nightclubs at 1 am. However, this has now been rejected in favour of modifying the traffic light system.

According to government spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez, the national government's main focus is “vaccination and facemasks” rather than renewed restrictions, noting that there is “worry” among the regions for the lack of a common framework.


Image Credit: Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa