A bar in Marbella. / SUR

Costa del Sol finally ditches Covid capacity and opening hour limits

The health district, which includes Benahavís, Benálmadena, Casares, Estepona, Fuengirola, Istán, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas, Ojén and Torremolinos, has moved to health alert Level 0 even though the coronavirus incidence rate is still above 50

ÁNGEL ESCALERA

The capacity and opening hour restrictions on bars, restaurants, shops and other businesses across the entire province of Malaga have been lifted after the Costa del Sol health district finally moved from Level 1 to health alert Level 0.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Junta's Territorial Committee for High Impact Public Health and will come into force on Thursday. It will be applied in the 11 municipalities on the western Costa del Sol: Benahavís, Benálmadena, Casares, Estepona, Fuengirola, Istán, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas, Ojén and Torremolinos.

The other five health districts in Malaga province - Axarquía, La Vega, Malaga, Serranía and Guadalhorce - were already at Level 0 and no longer had limitations.

Incidence rate of 54.2

Although the Costa del Sol health district has a cumulative incidence rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days (54.2), the committee agreed to move it to Level 0 as the other indicators analysed have improved, including a decreasing number of infections in the last seven days, a reduced occupancy rate hospital beds on the wards and intensive care units and good rates of vaccination and infection tracing.

Normality

The removal of the capacity and opening restrictions was something highly anticipated by the hospitality and commerce sectors on the Costa del Sol, since it will allow them to return to the normality that they had prior to the arrival of the coronavirus crisis.

Face masks and social distancing

Despite the further easing of coronavirus restrictions in municipalities that move to Level 0, the Junta de Andalucía has reminded that the use of face masks indoors and in crowds will continue to be mandatory and that the basic pandemic sanitary measures will have to be respected, such as hand-washing and maintaining social distancing between people.