Nearly 70 medical staff in Spain test positive for Covid after Christmas party

Most of the medics work at Carlos Haya hospital in Málaga, southern Spain. Credit: Twitter/@HRegionalMalaga

At least 68 medics in Spain have tested positive for Covid after attending a work Christmas party, health authorities said.

Most of those infected are said to be intensive care staff from Málaga's regional hospital, in southern Spain.

Medical staff from other departments have been redeployed to cover for their colleagues, according to local reports.

El País newspaper reported that doctors and nurses attended a Christmas meal at a restaurant in the Andalusian city last last Wednesday. The medics involved are all fully vaccinated and haven't shown symptoms, health authorities have said. All the guests are reported to have tested negative before the event, but now more than half of them are self-isolating.

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It follows health authorities in the southern Spanish state advising staff not to attend Christmas parties.

It also comes after Spain's prime minister urged the country not to "lower our guard" over the festive period.

Spain has seen an increase in Covid infections since the arrival of the Omicron variant.

The country has ruled out mandatory vaccination but since December 1, unvaccinated British people, who don't have resident status in the country, have been banned from entering.

In the UK, No10 is facing its own row over a Christmas party alleged to have taken place last year, when London was in Tier 3 Covid restrictions - banning indoor social gatherings.

The Prime Minister on Tuesday refused to say whether or not the party had happened, despite his own spokesperson saying it had.