Spain bans Christmas travel between regions, except for visits to relatives
Mobility restrictions in place from December 23 to January 6
The Spanish government has announced a ban on travel between regions from December 23 to January 6, but will allow visits to "relatives and next of kins".
Catalonia and other Spanish regions closed their borders after the state of alarm was declared to fight a surge in coronavirus contagion, with exceptions for work travel, health reasons, and other essential tasks.
All Spanish regions agreed on the Christmas travel restrictions, with the exception of Madrid—which flatly rejects shutting its borders—and Catalonia, which abstained alleging that it already has its own plan in place.
However, the Catalan government's four-step plan to progressively ease coronavirus restrictions envisioned reopening borders to the rest of Spain on Phase 3—which was expected to come into effect ahead of the Christmas holiday.
The Spanish Health minister, Salvador Illa, stressed that all Spanish regions must abide by the latest restrictions.
In the meeting with regional authorities held on Wednesday afternoon, the Spanish government also announced a limit of 10 people for holiday gatherings, and the extension of the night curfew on Christmas' Eve and New Year's Eve.
Catalan government announces Christmas restrictions
Earlier on Wednesday, the Catalan government laid out the restrictions expected to be in place during the Christmas holiday.
The night curfew will be delayed until 1.30 am on December 24 and 31, and until 11 pm on January 5, the eve of the Three Kings Day.