The regional government in Andalucía has given details of new steps to help curb the spread of this second wave of the coronavirus.
These include limiting gatherings of family and friends to six people (previously there was a recommendation of no more than ten people together), except for members of the same household.
The regional minister for Health, Jesús Aguirre, said on Tuesday that 80% of all cases of infection with Covid-19 are traced back to private gatherings.
For the time being the limit of six people is a "recommendation", although Aguirre said that the authority was studying how this can be made an obligation from a legal point of view.
Current restrictions on numbers at weddings, baptisms and other similar events will not be heightened, said Aguirre.
Further measures focus on towns and villages with contagion figures of more than 500 per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period. Mass testing will be carried out, announced spokesman and regional minister, Elías Bendodo.
Highly reliable rapid tests will be used, said Bendodo, and the measure will affect the small towns of Sierra de Yeguas and Villanueva de la Concepción in the province of Malaga.
In the rest of the region the testing will be carried out in Pulpí (Almeria); Almodóvar del Río (Cordoba); Jamilena, Los Villares and Linares (Jaén); La Campana, Villaverde del Río, Arahal and Paradas (Sevilla).
Andalucía "better than others"
The region of Andalucía was resisting the pandemic "better than others" Bendodo said. "As the figures show: we have 161 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants and 59% fewer patients in hospital than at the height of the pandemic on 30 March.
Once again the regional government is focusing on anticipation. "We have to get ahead and to that end we have to take new measures of control so that the incidencce remains lower than the rest of Spain," said Bendodo.
Regarding municipalities where pressure on hospitals is higher, Bendodo said that it would be the provincial health delegates in collaboration with local town halls who would decide whether to adopt more restrictive measures.
The announcements came after the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, met on Monday with the committee of experts who are advising the regional government on measures to take against the spread of the virus.