THERE had been much anticipation and concern among the public of Andalucia after it was revealed on Friday that new COVID-19 measures were set to be announced this week.

We were warned of ‘rigorous but necessary’ steps that would be ‘based on the scientific data.’

However what that has actually materialised into today, for the overwhelming majority of the population, is absolutely nothing.

Just one town in Sevilla (Casariche), will be closed down after registering a coronavirus incidence rate of 4,582.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks.

It will have its entry and exit routes blocked except for work and doctor visits, and other exceptions for 14 days.

Meanwhile another 11 towns will see a huge rapid testing campaign.

These are: Pulpi (Almeria); Almodovar del Rio (Cordoba); Jamilena, Los Villares and Linares (Jaen); La Campana, Villaverde del Rio, Arahal and Paradas (Sevilla); Sierra de Yeguas and Villanueva de la Concepción (Malaga).

But for the rest of the region, things remain unchanged – at least for now.

Regional health minister Jesus Aguirre said the number of family members or friends – who do not live together – meeting up in each other’s homes should be kept to a maximum of six, down from the current 10.

At the moment that remains a recommendation but he did add that the Junta is looking at making it a legal obligation.

Aguirre claimed 80% of post-lockdown infections have come from the private or family sphere.

In a press conference today, Aguirre and Junta spokesperson Elias Bendodo said they have not ruled out making the rule of six mandatory in the hospitality sector – i.e. tables of six or less only.

However for now, the restrictions remain the same as before, as do the limitations on events such as weddings, communions and baptisms.

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