Fully vaccinated close contacts in Catalonia will not have to self-isolate

Spain's decision was at odds with Catalan health department's initial quarantine requirement

Health minister, Josep Maria Argimon, entering the Catalan parliament on December 15, 2021 (by Rafa Garrido)
Health minister, Josep Maria Argimon, entering the Catalan parliament on December 15, 2021 (by Rafa Garrido) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 22, 2021 10:58 AM

On Tuesday evening, Spain's Public Health Committee, which is made up of members of the Spanish and regional governments, including Catalonia's, voted in favor of not requiring fully vaccinated close contacts of people with Covid-19 to self-isolate but rather having them reduce their social interactions. 

Catalonia, however, had made 10-day quarantines necessary for all close contacts, regardless of their vaccination status, from Thursday. Despite this Catalonia will comply with the Spain-wide decision. 

"Confusing" advice and breakthrough infections

Not long after the Public Health Committee's decision was made public, the Catalan health department expressed "doubts" regarding the measure, with the government in Barcelona criticizing it for "confusing" people. 

According to Catalonia's health department, the new measure put forth by Spain's health ministry "goes against its own scientific criteria" given the new Omicron variant's ability to evade vaccines

The head of Catalonia's Covid-19 Advisory Committee, Magda Campins, argued that close contacts should still stay home whether they are vaccinated or not, as recommended by the ECDC, in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio on Wednesday morning, the second day in a row with over 10,000 new cases reported.

Campins also said she approved of the new restrictions put forth by the Catalan government, although she said the Covid-19 Advisory Committee had not proposed a curfew.

On Thursday at midnight, and for at least 15 days, there will be a 1 am to 6 am curfew in municipalities with over 10,000 inhabitants and an incidence rate of over 250 as well as a 10-person limit on gatherings if these measures are greenlighted by the High Court.

Other restrictions, which do not require court approval and which will definitely come into effect on Thursday at midnight, are the closure of nightclubs and a 50% capacity limit in the indoor seating areas of restaurants as well as a 70% capacity limit in gyms, cultural venues, and stores. 

Vaccine rollout in Catalonia

As of December 21, 2021, 6,215,607 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 78.4% of the total population. Out of those, 5,401,569 have also been administered a second dose (68.3% of the total population). 

6,037,719 residents are considered to be fully immunized (75.9%), while 1,477,875 have had booster shots.

Filling the Sink podcast

Released on December 4, the Filling the Sink podcast episode below includes EU Covid certificate FAQs as well as information on travel rules, Omicron, and what to expect over the Christmas holiday season.