The Junta de Andalucía has confirmed a total of 16 cases of the new variant of the coronavirus, that was first identified in Britain, with the regional government's health minister Jesús Aguirre claiming "some cases come from people arriving directly by plane from the United Kingdom."
Experts say that the new variant is much more contagious.
In an effort to slow the spread of the new variant of the virus the Junta has ordered the perimeter of eight municipalities in the Campo de Gibraltar area. The mobility restriction affects the towns of La Línea de la Concepción, Algeciras, Los Barrios, Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, San Martín del Tesorillo, San Roque and Tarifa.
A meeting of regional government’s pandemic crisis committee will meet on 8 January to decide whether the existing virus control measures in Andalucía, due to expire on 10 January, can be relaxed or if they needed to be maintained or strengthened.
Aguirre has said he is concerned about the impact the increased number of contacts over the festive period will have on the numbers saying, "the trend was downward before Christmas and in recent days it is going up.”
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has again called for “extreme caution” while saying a decision about new measures will be made on 8 January after studying the local situation and the "global upward trend in infections."
Moreno said on social networks that "Andalucía maintains the occupation of hospital beds below the national average and one of the lowest incidents of the disease" but appealed for responsible behaviour to stop the spread of infections.