MADRID: Spain's prime minister has ruled out any immediate national restrictions in response to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said official data shows that even though omicron spreads more quickly, it has generally caused milder symptoms and therefore put less pressure on Spain's hospitals than previous strains.
He also cited the country's high vaccination rate of over 80%.
"It's clear that we are in a situation radically different," Sánchez told reporters during his year-end press conference.
"We are better and more prepared to confront the omicron variant."
Sánchez confirmed that a panel of regional chiefs and central health authorities would debate a proposal to shorten the mandatory isolation period for individuals who test positive but display no COVID-19 symptoms.
Spanish authorities are considering reducing the period from 10 to five days, following the United States, Greece and other countries.
Staff absences due to the virus have cancelled trains and led to other service disruptions in Spain.
Health Ministry data showed Spain confirmed 100,000 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the 14-day infection rate to 1,360 cases per 100,000 residents, nearly twice the level from a week earlier.