surinenglish

Marbella, Estepona, Ronda and six other Malaga towns to ease their border lockdowns

File photograph.
File photograph. / ÑITO SALAS
  • Only three towns in the province will retain closed perimeters for registering more than 500 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants and one town will also have to close the shutters on non-essential activity for exceeding the Junta's 1,000 threshold

Drops in their coronavirus cumulative incidence rates will allow Marbella,Estepona, Manilva, Ojén, Ronda, Algatocín, Cortes de la Frontera, Gaucín and Villanueva del Trabuco to reopen their municipal borders.

Last week the rate of these localities exceeded 500 coronavirus infections per hundred thousand inhabitants in the last fourteen days, the limit set by the Junta de Andalucía to order the perimeter closures which banned entering or leaving the municipalities - except for a justified reason. The regional government also decrees the closure of all non-essential activity when this rate exceeds one thousand cases.

But this Thursday (25 February) the nine Malaga towns - Marbella, Estepona, Manilva, Ojén, Ronda, Algatocín, Cortes de la Frontera, Gaucín and Villanueva del Trabuco - have maintained a declining rate of positive diagnoses that places their incidence below the 500 rate.

However Árchez (779), Benaoján (757) and Montejaque (1,791) still register more than 500 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants and will retain their border closures. Montejaque will also have to lower the shutters on all its non-essential businesses as it is the only town in the province whose rate exceeds the 1,000 incidence rate.

In principle, the changes to the mobility measures should take effect on Saturday morning, although last week the Junta brought forward the lifting of the restrictions one day, and is not ruled out that the re-openings will not be effective from midnight this Thursday (25 February), provided that it is first published in BOJA Official Gazette.

Malaga province currently has an average rate of 227 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks, far from the 1,007 rate detected on 1 February, when the peak of this third wave of the pandemic occurred.

This drop also causes the province to go from extreme risk (more than 250 cases) to high risk (between 150 and 250 cases), according to the levels agreed by the Ministry of Health and the regions.

Low risk is when the rate is between 50 and 150 and a 'new normal' when it falls to less than 50.

Despite the decrease in infection rates, the Junta will not reopen mobility between the Andalusian provinces until at least 3 March, when the committee of experts will meet to agree on the de-escalation process.

The rest of the coronavirus containment measures also remain in force, such as the 10pm curfew, the limitation of meetings inside and outside the home to a maximum of four people and the closure of hospitality and shops at 6pm.