Number of workers on sick leave triples in Catalonia because of covid

Contagions cause delays to about fifteen Renfe commuter trains

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A woman teleworking from home during the 2020 Lockdown

BarcelonaThe number of workers on sick leave has tripled in Catalonia in just three weeks, as the number of infections caused by the Omicron variant doubled every week, up to almost 124,000 cases in the last seven days. The impact on the workforce is significant: between Dec 9-16, 27,249 people were off work; from Dec 17-23, 45,117 were; between Dec 24-30, 79,484 were on sick leave.

This data was revealed this Sunday by Tv3 and has been confirmed by the Department of Health. Anyone who has caught covid, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can ask for sick leave, as can unvaccinated close contacts, since they are forced to quarantine. Isolation has recently been reduced from 10 to 7 days (when there are no symptoms). The Government was in favour of extending this measure also for vaccinated close contacts, but finally decided to follow the Spanish Ministry of Health's criteria. Since last week, in addition, there is no need to go to a health centre to get sick leave, as it can be processed electronically if an antigen test done at home gives a positive result.

Sick leaves cause delays at Renfe

Renfe has reported this Sunday that the contagions are affecting its staff of train drivers, and that is why about fifteen commuter and regional trains in Catalonia have suffered disruptions or delays in service. About fifty train drivers are on sick leave due to the infections. Despite the data of this new wave, epidemiologists agree that the peak of cases could be reached next week, with case numbers then beginning to drop.