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A key week for Andalucía as the easing of coronavirus restrictions is considered

Bars and restaurants open in Malaga. File photograph.
Bars and restaurants open in Malaga. File photograph. / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ
  • On Wednesday the Junta's Covid-19 Committee of Experts will meet to analyse the mobility measures and the curfew

Andalucía faces a key week in the pandemic to decide whether to relax the current measures and restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, 3 March, a new meeting of the regional government’s coronavirus crisis Committee of Experts will be held at 6pm.

At that meeting, decisions will be made "based on the recommendations and the evolution of the incidence rate", according to the Junta de Andalucía.

The incidence rate trend for the virus in the Andalusian community continues to be downward and this Monday (1 March) the lowest figure of the last two months was registered which allows the Junta to think about a relaxation of mobility or curfew limitations.

Although the vast majority of Andalusian municipalities are already outside the extreme alert level and have reopened shops and hospitality businesses considered non-essential, in the region there are still strong restrictions on mobility and you cannot enter or leave a province without a justified reason, just as it is not possible to enter or leave the Andalusian region.

Last week the regional government decided to extend the measures until this Thursday, 4 March. So the day before, on Wednesday, the committee of experts will meet to analyse the data and propose any new measures, as well as their validity period.

Mobility measures

The Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, has already pointed out that the idea is "to make mobility and economic activity flexible as far as we can". He said the easing of restrictions should be done prudently, because a full opening could again cause a rapid increase in infections in March.

The first measure that the Junta has on the table is the opening of mobility between provinces. The easing of travel restrictions in and out of the region will also be evaluated, but it is something that also depends on the incidence rate outside Andalucía.

"The safest thing is that we remain closed, but it will depend on the incidence in other places," Moreno said.

The night curfew, currently ordered between 10pm and 6am, the closing of shops and hospitality at 6pm, the limitation of meetings to a maximum of four people are among other measures that will be studied by the expert committee.

Regarding the new measures, on Monday the Junta’s Minister of Health, Jesús Aguirre, said that, facing Easter Week, "opening things up will probably be less than what is thought", because, although the pandemic is evolving towards a "flat plateau" there are "very high figures in hospitalisations and intensive care units".

Aguirre’s statements are in line with the latest comments made by the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, who underlined the need for any measures to open or relax restrictions to be done with prudence.

Moreno has pointed out in recent days that "it will not be a quick opening, it will be a progressive de-escalation", as he understands that the incidence of the virus is still very high in the community.

"The opening between the provinces is the first step," he said. Regarding whether the region will be open to the rest of the country for Easter through an agreement with other regions, Moreno said it has to be assessed. "The safest thing is that we remain closed, but it will depend on the incidence in other places."

Moreno insisted, “We are desperate to allow citizens to move, but we are going to be very prudent and we will make decisions based on what the experts tell us.”