Owners of bars, restaurants and non-essential shops, as well as museums and cinemas, hope to be able to reopen until 6pm in 17 municipalities in Malaga province (Malaga city, Marbella, Vélez-Málaga, Estepona, Coín, Genalguacil, Pizarra, Alameda, Benamocarra, Alfarnate, Cartajima, Casares, El Borge, Faraján, Ojén, Teba and Villanueva de Tapia) from Saturday, as they eagerly await Friday’s review of the Covid-19 incidence rate.
This Thursday (11 February), all of the towns had 14-day cumulative incidence rates for Covid-19 of below 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the threshold set by the Junta de Andalucía to order the closure of non-essential business.
The potential return to work comes earlier than expected for some municipalities, after the regional government changed its method of reviewing the infection rates and imposing restrictions this week.
Now the authority will meet once a week with its committee of advisors - on Thursdays (though this week on Friday) - instead of twice, and, when measures have to be taken, these will be reviewed - and lifted when possible - after seven days and not the previous 14. From next week, the measures confirmed on Thursdays will come into force the following Saturday.
The limits for restrictions to come into force remain the same: when a town’s 14-day cumulative incidence per 100,000 inhabitants is above 500, its municipal borders are closed, with only justified movements to other towns allowed. This still affects most of the main towns on the Costa del Sol.
The closure of non-essential business, in force once the rate passes 1,000, will could affect only ten towns from Saturday - Villanueva del Trabuco, Canillas de Albaida, Cañete la Real, Algatocín, Arriate, Benaoján, Cortes de la Frontera, Montejaque, Ronda and Jubrique.