Andalusian president says he will announce fresh restrictions on Sunday

At the María Zambrano main Renfe station in Malaga, officers checked to see if passengers lived locally or had a good reason to travel.
At the María Zambrano main Renfe station in Malaga, officers checked to see if passengers lived locally or had a good reason to travel. / Salvador Salas
  • From Monday the national government’s curfew order expires and Juanma Moreno will review latest data with his experts before deciding

The regional president, Juanma Moreno, told the Andalusian parliament on Thursday this week (5 November) that he was getting ready to announce new restrictions on Sunday for the region, starting from Monday (9 November). However he stopped short of saying what they would be.

On Sunday, the national government’s nighttime curfew order expires and it is left to each of Spain’s devolved regions to decide what to do locally.

“If the figures from now to Sunday don’t evolve, it’s my responsibility to take decisions,” explained Moreno, saying he would meet with his committee of experts first.

On social media this week he warned that “ we will try to leave untouched all that we can of the part of day when there is most economic output, which is normally from first thing in the morning until 3pm; meaning [measures] from nighttime backwards, covering part of the afternoon, so as to try not to damage the economy”.

Moreno also urged the national government this week to make its mind up quickly whether to confine people to their homes again or not. “If we need to close, let’s close as soon as possible to save Christmas,” he said. Only national government can currently decide this. However the regional president stopped short of asking for this for Andalucía, saying he preferred to see how case numbers developed in the coming days.

On Thursday, 3,770 new positive Covid-19 test cases were announced in Andalucía. This was up on Wednesday’s 2,363 and ended the trend of a gradual reduction in local daily cases since 1 November, after the 31 October peak of 5,622. There were 60 more deaths reported regionally on Thursday, and 3,198 people were in Andalucía’s hospitals, of whom 422 were in intensive care.

There are still big differences between Andalusian provinces. Granada province headed the list and had 1,170 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days. In contrast Malaga province had the fewest, with a 261 case-rate average, with the highest concentration here still inland around Antequera.

There were 309 people in Malaga’s hospitals with Covid-19 on Thursday, 39 in intensive care.

Emergency hospital beds

On Wednesday, the regional Health minister, Jesús Aguirre, explained how the Health Service would adapt if the figure of 4,500 people in hospital in Andalucía were reached.

Extra beds would be made available in overflow facilities near hospitals and routine operations and outpatient appointments cancelled.

In Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, 926 extra bed would open across the Carranque sports pavilions in Malaga city and the Junta’s residential holiday complex, east of Marbella.

However on Thursday, just 9.5 per cent of Covid-19 hospital cases in Andalucía were in Malaga province , meaning if 4,500 hospital cases were reached regionally, Malaga would be in the fortunate position of not needing to bring in the overflow beds immediately.