The Spanish Cabinet has approved the extension to the restrictions on direct flights and passenger vessels between the United Kingdom (UK), Brasil and South Africa to all Spanish airport and ports, except for travellers who are Spanish citizens or residents.
The extention of the restrictions is for an additional 14 days after the present measures end on 16 February.
The ban is an attempt to limit the exposure to the mutant covid strains being seen in those countries and which are considered up to 70% more contagious.
The Minister for Health, Carolina Darias, also reported that figures show a clear downward trend in infections thanks to the restrictive measures taken by the regional authorities.
“Co-governance and this strategy together represent the smartest and boldest commitment we can take as a country against this pandemic”, she said.
Carolina Darias specified that the cumulative rate over the last 14 days stands at 584 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, dropping by 232 points on the figure for 27 January, when it hit a high of 899 cases.
In the latest report from yesterday, Wednesday 10th February, the Health Ministry reported 18,114 new infections and added 643 victims to the official death toll.
The cummulative 14 day infection rate is still double the level of 250, which is the governement´s benchmark to be considered an extreme risk and 10 times the target set by the Spanish health authorities.
The fall in the infection rate is having a knock-on effect on hospital admissions which is also falling.
There are currently 24,821 Covid-19 patients currently hospitalized, representing 19% of total beds.
Of those, 4,548 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care beds ( ICU) which represents 42% of the total.
Carolina Darias highlighted that Spain has a very high capacity for detecting cases and that, since the start of the pandemic, more than 29.9 million diagnostic tests have been performed.
In addition Darias highlighted that Spain is above the European Union average in the administration of vaccines, and will shortly have “more people vaccinated than infected”.
So far,the central government had delivered 2,218,755 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to the 17 regional governments, of which 2,105,033 have now been administered.
Furthermore, almost 800,000 people have now received the second dose.
The government’s aim, as set out in the State Vaccination Strategy, is for 80% of the elderly to be vaccinated by the end of March, and for 70% of the population to be vaccinated before the end of the summer, added the minister.
To date Spain has registered over 3,000,000 cases of whom 63,000 have died.