Spain will not impose new restrictions for omicron variant

Spanish President Pedro Sánchez ruled out on Wednesday any immediate national restriction in response to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Sánchez said official data shows that although omicron spreads more quickly, it generally causes milder symptoms and therefore puts less pressure on Spanish hospitals than previous strains.

He also cited the country’s high vaccination rate of more than 80%.

“It is clear that we are in a radically different situation,” Sánchez told reporters at his year-end conference. “We are better and more prepared to face the omicron variant.”

The president confirmed that a panel of regional chiefs and central health authorities will debate a proposal to shorten the mandatory isolation period for people who test positive but show no symptoms of COVID-19.

Spanish authorities are considering reducing the quarantine from 10 to five days, following the United States, Greece and other countries.

Staff absences due to the virus have canceled trains and caused other service interruptions in Spain.

According to the Ministry of Health, Spain confirmed 100,000 new infections on Tuesday, raising the infection rate from 14 days to 1,360 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, almost double the level of a week before.

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