A health worker checks COVID antigen test results. | EFE

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Spain's Public Health Commission is to meet on Tuesday to discuss a further reduction of the isolation period for people who test positive with Covid. This was ten days and is currently seven. Various regions want it to come down to three or five days.

The regulations under consideration by representatives from the national and regional health ministries at present require seven-day quarantine for people who are positive and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Following this period, and with the exception of health and social care workers, a test is not obligatory before returning to work. For close contacts who have not been vaccinated, there is also a seven-day period. Close contacts who have been fully vaccinated are exempt, so long as they don't develop symptoms.

On Monday, Galicia's health minister, Julio García Comesaña, said that the region is looking to shorten the period to five days with a negative test. The Madrid region wants a review of scientific evidence at national and international level in order to determine a possible reduction. In Valencia, the government feels that it is reasonable to shorten the period, but with the backing of the Public Health Commission.

Castile-La Mancha is openly in favour of reduction to three or five days. In Catalonia, the government believes that by April quarantine and tests will no longer be needed. For schools, the government plans to scrap quarantine by the end of February, whether or not there is consensus on this with other regions and the Spanish government. By contrast, Andalusia and Castile and León are opposed to a reduction.

Carolina Darias, Spain's health minister, said last week that the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies would be making a proposal for the Public Health Commission to consider. As with all matters, noted Darias, the isolation period is "under permanent review".

A separate issue to be addressed concerns Covid data and how hospital cases and deaths are classified. This can vary according to region and even hospital.