There will be no Holy Week processions in Malaga this year. The organisation that represents the city's religious brotherhoods that organise the Semana Santa has agreed with the city hall and the Diocese of Malaga to call off the events to prevent the spread of coronavirus Covid-19.
The decision comes after cities such as Seville and Cordoba suspended their processions on Saturday following advice from Spain's Episcopal Conference.
"We have discussed the situation generated by the coronavirus crisis and the declaration by the government of a state of alarm," said a statement issued by Pablo Atencia, in representation of the brotherhoods (cofradías); the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre; and the bishop, Jesús Catalá.
The cancellation applies to the entire diocese, that is, all the towns and villages in the province of Malaga.
"All three consider it responsible and necesary to suspend the Holy Week processions, as well as all the planned events leading up to them," it reads.
"We regret the inconvenience caused for the brotherhoods and thank them for their collaboration in these exceptional circumstances."
Catalá, Atencia and De la Torre have encouraged people to celebrate Holy Week with private prayer.
Around 34,400 people take part in the Semana Santa processions in the city and the financial impact of the week is estimated at 80 million euros.