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Greater police presence required as crowds form in busy Malaga district

Police patrol the narrow promenade.
Police patrol the narrow promenade. / ÑITO SALAS
  • "We go out in fear because people don't respect the safety measures, don't wear gloves or masks," said one elderly resident in Pedregalejo

Police presence has been stepped up in the Malaga neighbourhood of Pedregalejo this week as many of its bars and restaurants reopened for the first time and complaints quickly started to pour in about overcrowding on the seafront.

This popular meeting spot sees terraces spill onto a thin strip of promenade which gets especially busy around meal times. Despite the lockdown, this week was no exception. With very limited space available, the only giveaway that the images of crowds seen this week weren't from a previous August day were the facemasks worn by waiters.

With people standing around, huddled together, waiting for a table narrowing the thoroughfare for cyclists and people on their daily permitted exercise, distancing has become particularly difficult and locals have become fearful for their safety. "We go out in fear because people don't respect the safety measures, don't wear gloves or masks," said one elderly resident wearing a visor.

"This is becoming a huge source of contagion for the elderly, who are more vulnerable," said another.

As a result, the Local Police have had to intervene, increasing the number of officers (uniformed and plain-clothes) on patrol in the area to 30 on Wednesday.

By Thursday, after officers had started to take a less lenient approach with those breaching rules and issued numerous fines for failure to comply, bicycles and electric scooters have now also been banned from the seafront between the Baños del Carmen and El Candado. This will particularly be enforced during the evening slot designated for exercise.