Spain to enter new era without isolation for mild COVID-19

MADRID (AP) — Spanish health authorities are moving closer to normalizing life in coexistence with COVID-19, by scrapping mandatory quarantines — from next week — for those infected with the virus but showing no or mild symptoms of the disease.

Under current regulations, seven days of isolation are mandatory for anybody who tests positive for the coronavirus.

Starting March 28, free COVID-19 tests will only be conducted on high-risk groups, at health facilities and nursing homes, and on patients with the worse conditions, Spain’s Health Ministry said Tuesday.

It said the decision was taken by the country’s Commission on Public Health.

Amid high levels of vaccination, the rate of coronavirus contagion remains still above 400 new cases per 100,000 residents in 14 days, a high-risk level but way down from the mid-January record. Fueled by the omicron variant, the two-week variable surged then above 3,400 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Since the first case was identified in early 2020, Spain has officially reported 11.3 million infections and just over 100,000 confirmed deaths, although the accuracy of record-keeping has varied during the pandemic.

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