Tighter Covid restrictions come into force for nursing homes

Workers to be tested three times a week and only two visits will be allowed at the same time

A nursing home in Camprodon (by Lourdes Casademont)
A nursing home in Camprodon (by Lourdes Casademont) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 20, 2021 10:11 AM

Care homes for older people in Catalonia face tighter restrictions from Tuesday to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Workers must now undergo a PCR test three times a week, up from only one under the previous regulations. Vaccinated staff will get tested once a week.

Elders in nursing homes can only welcome two visitors simultaneously, down from three, and they are required to undergo a rapid antigen test before entering the facilities.

Health authorities announced on Monday that care homes will provide visitors with Covid-19 tests, to be conducted right before accessing the building, despite initially stating that they were expected to get tested for themselves.

While unvaccinated people are allowed to access nursing homes, health authorities advise that only those who have been fully immunized visit their relatives.

At least 32,093 elders living in care homes have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began, with 48 infections notified in the last 24 hours. The death toll currently stands at 8,813.

With people in nursing homes being deemed as one of the top priority groups when the inoculation campaign began, it is estimated that 97% of them are fully immunized after receiving both vaccine shots.

The overwhelming majority of workers at care homes are already vaccinated, with 91% having received the first jab and 85% the second dose.

Vaccination campaign

Catalonia's inoculation campaign began on December 27, 2020. As of July 17, 2021, 4,780,008 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 61.9% of the total population. Out of those, 3,659,128 have also been administered a second dose (47.4% of the total population). 4,093,092 residents are considered to be fully immunized (53%). Under 65s who have already had the virus are only required to have the first dose, and others have received a single-dose jab. Therefore, the % of two doses administered and % fully immunized do not match.

Fifth pandemic wave

Catalonia experienced a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, following a gradual relaxation of restrictions, some of which were again imposed as infections skyrocketed.

As of July 19, 2021, official figures, released daily on this website, state there have been 843,276 confirmed Covid-19 cases (PCR tests and others including antibody tests).

A total of 22,340 people with or suspected to have had the virus have died since the beginning of the outbreak according to funeral homes.