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Attendances at LaLiga games have been reduced to 75% after the Spanish government introduced new restrictions for sports events amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The cap will come into effect on Jan. 1 in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. The measures will be reviewed again at the end of the month.
Each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities can bring in further restrictions if they wish. The Basque government has announced plans to cap crowds in outdoor stadiums holding more than 5,000 supporters at 50%.
The new restrictions are brought in after the number of cases in Spain hit an all-time pandemic high earlier in the week when nearly 100,000 cases were reported in the span of 24 hours on Tuesday.
However, prime minister Pedro Sanchez insists the country’s high vaccination rate (around 80% of the population) will minimise the number of people needing treatment.
“We are obviously going to see high numbers of infections, but not hospitalisations and ICU admissions compared to previous waves,” he told reporters.
LaLiga clubs are themselves dealing with COVID-19 within their squads as the Spanish league returns this weekend following a short winter break.
Rayo Vallecano, meanwhile, say 17 first-team players have coronavirus, with Sociedad confirming 10 members of their first-team bubble have also tested positive.
LaLiga insist games must go ahead if clubs have at least five first-team players available and, including B team players and youngsters, are able to field a squad of 13, including at least one goalkeeper.