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Spain to limit Easter travel to curb virus spread

Published on March 04, 2021

Spanish authorities said Thursday they planned to ban travel between different regions of the country during Easter to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Spain’s 17 regions agreed to close their borders during the week leading up to Easter Sunday, which this year falls on April 4, during a meeting with the central government, the health ministry said in a statement.

The measure — which still must be officially approved next week — means people will not be able to leave their home region to visit family or go to holiday homes in another region during what is traditionally a peak travel period.

The travel restrictions are needed to prevent the spread of new virus variant , said secretary of state for health, Silsva Calzon.

“We are at an absolutely critical moment,” she told a news conference.

Spain saw a huge spike on coronavirus infections in January after travel restrictions were eased over Christmas to allow families to get together.

But after a post-Christmas surge in which daily infections exceeded 40,000, Spain’s third wave is receding, with the two-week incidence rate falling to 153 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday from 900 at the end of January.

Spain’s traditional Easter processions, featuring flower-covered floats topped with effigies of Christ or the Virgin Mary and penitents in distinctive pointy hoods, have been cancelled this year for the second year in a row because of the pandemic.

The country has been hard-hit by the pandemic, recording over 70,000 deaths from more than 3.1 million cases.