Marbella is approaching the Covid-19 cumulative incidence rate limit imposed by the Junta de Andalucía to request the border closure of municipalities with more than five thousand inhabitants.
The Costa del Sol town has an incidence rate of 854 infections per 100,000 people in the last fourteen days, on the verge of the one thousand threshold established by the regional government to ask the judicial authorities to order that no one can enter or leave the municipality - except for justified reasons.
In Malaga province there are six other towns that exceed this rate (Istán with 2008 and Carratraca with 1,216) or are close (Ojén with 864; Montejaque with 843; Benaoján with 894 and Serrato with 829), but in these cases they do not exceed five thousand inhabitants.
The Junta does not apply the same measures in small towns as in large municipalities because, in the former, the incidence rate when measured per 100,000 inhabitants, can be triggered by a small outbreak, even if it is localised and controlled. For example, Montejaque has an incidence rate of almost 900 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks despite the fact that only eight positives have been diagnosed in this period of time.
In large cities, however, the judicial request is almost automatic. And that's where Marbella comes in being, at the moment, the only large town in the province with a rate higher than 800 infections.
During Spain’s state of alarm, the regions could decree the perimeter closure of the towns when they considered it appropriate. But when it ended in May, the regional governments lost the ability to make decisions. The most effective measures to control the pandemic, such as a curfew or lockdowns, have since depended on the judicial authorities.
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has reiterated on several occasions that he will request the perimeter closure of those municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants whose rate exceeds one thousand cases, although the request may not be instantaneous because the experts also evaluate other parameters such as the pressure on healthcare and the percentage of intensive care beds occupied by coronavirus patients.