The Junta de Andalucía decides today (18 February) which coronavirus restrictions will apply in each municipality across the region based on the incidence rate in each city, town or village.
After the outbreak of cases triggered by the Christmas and New Year holidays, towns across Malaga province have been battling to overcome this third and more explosive wave of the pandemic for two weeks.
The province this Wednesday registered an average cumulative incidence of 429 infections per one hundred thousand inhabitants in the last fourteen days.
Although the public health alerts committee will determine the situation in each municipality according to the incidence rate registered today, Thursday, the data published by the Andalusian Institute of Statistics and Cartography on Wednesday gave an idea of which localities will retain closed perimeters and which may be allowed to reopen their borders.
More than twenty municipalities that currently have border lockdowns registered rates below 500 infections per hundred thousand inhabitants on Wednesday: Alameda, Alhaurín de la Torre, Álora, Arriate, Benalmádena, Benarrabá, El Burgo, Cartajima, Cártama, Casares, Coín, Colmenar, Fuengirola, Guaro, Jubrique, Malaga city, Mijas, Pizarra, Villanueva de Tapia and Yunquera.
In the event that the current contagion levels are maintained this Thursday, as seems likely due to the trend of recent weeks, the Junta can decree the opening of their municipal borders from Saturday morning, after the publication of the measure in the BOJA Official Gazette.
They are not the only towns where changes could take place. The regional government, chaired by Juanma Moreno, also orders the closure of all non-essential activities in the municipalities that exceed a thousand cases for every one hundred thousand people, a rate that yesterday only Árchez, Benaoján, Cañete la Real and Serrato surpassed.
If the incidence does not vary excessively, this Saturday businesses considered non-essential, such as hospitality and commerce, cold be able to open in four locations: Ronda, Algatocín, Montejaque and Villanueva del Trabuco. Since last week all have managed to drop below the incidence rate limit of one thousand cases set by the Junta, although they will continue to be closed at the borders as they are still above 500 cases.
It will be the first time in more than a month that people would be allowed to enter and leave cities such as Malaga, which yesterday registered a rate of 418 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
This incidence rate is still high, in fact it is still considered "extreme risk" according to the levels agreed by the Ministry of Health and the regions, but it is far from the more than a thousand cases reached on 1 February, a figure that forced the closure of bars, restaurants and non-essential shops in the city until last Saturday.
Spain’s Interterritorial Council establishes several levels of risk: extreme when the rate exceeds 250 cases, high between 150 and 250 cases, medium between 50 and 150 and low between 20 and 50. The World Health Organisation considers that the pandemic is controlled when the low incidence of 50 cases is reached.