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Spain cuts COVID-19 isolation to seven days from 10 – Metro US

Spain cuts COVID-19 isolation to seven days from 10

People queue to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
People queue to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after the Christmas holiday break, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, at Doce de Octubre Hospital in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain on Wednesday reduced the isolation period for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to seven days from 10, the health ministry said, even as new infections hit record highs.

The Spanish decision, taken unanimously at a meeting between Health Minister Carolina Darias and regional health chiefs, follows similar moves by other countries such as the United States and Britain.

A lack of staff due to long isolation times has caused disruptions to some industries even though many of those who test positive are asymptomatic.

The ministry also reduced the mandatory quarantine for close contacts of people who have tested positive to seven days. Separately, Darias said the number of people allowed to attend sporting events would also be slashed.

The national 14-day infection rate hit a new record of 1,360 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, rising from 1,206 cases the previous day and marking a five-fold increase since the beginning of December.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Isla Binnie, editing by Andrei Khalip, Nathan Allen, Giles Elgood and Aurora Ellis)

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