The strength of the separatist movement in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia was tested Sunday as 5.3 million voters were called to take part in a regional election.

It's being held under tight restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Voters must wear face masks, use the hand disinfectant provided at polling stations, and remain at least 1.5 meters apart while queuing.

Those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 were encouraged to vote between 9am and noon.

The general population is supposed to vote from noon until 7pm.

That leaves a final hour until polls close at 8pm for voters who are either infected or quarantined due to recent contact with an infected person.