17 Nov, 2020 @ 14:59
1 min read

How likely is it that COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in Spain’s Andalucia next week?

Moreno|
CRUNCH TIME: Juanma Moreno will analyse coronavirus figures with experts on Friday to decide whether or not to 'modify' the current restrictions

JUNTA de Andalucia President Juanma Moreno will once again meet with the committee of experts this Sunday to decide on the next steps of the region’s coronavirus battle plan. 

The date will mark almost two weeks since the Partido Popular leader enacted a stricter curfew (10pm to 7am) and ordered all non-essential businesses to close from 6pm. 

The meeting this week will analyse how effective these measures have been, before the government decides whether to ‘extend, loosen or toughen’ the restrictions as of November 24. 

Junta spokesman Elias Bendodo said at a press conference Tuesday that if the curve of infections, hospital and ICU admissions are not reduced, ‘we will have to continue taking measures, whatever is necessary.’ 

Bendodo said the Junta has one objective in mind; saving Christmas. 

“If the curve allows it, the economy can be made more flexible and open a little to save the Christmas season,” he said, “but we cannot drop the ball for a single minute, because we are risking the future of an entire generation.” 

His comments come after two straight days of the number of recovered people surpassing the number of newly infected in the region. 

However Tuesday was also the second deadliest day of the pandemic for Andalucia, while hospital pressure has hardly eased. 

Hospital and ICU admissions are seen as hugely important, meaning that they will have to see a sharp drop by the weekend if the region can be expected to lift some of the restrictions. 

“The incidence rate is decreasing slightly in Andalucia and the recovered exceeded the infections in the last two days, but it is still not enough,” said President Moreno tweeted today.

“We will persevere. The virus has amply demonstrated its power. We cannot let up for a single minute.”

His comments hint at the fact that a continuing decrease in infection rates will need to be accompanied by a significant easing of pressure on hospitals. 

The latter is unlikely to turn around in the few days left before the Sunday meeting. 

It means the restrictions announced more than a week ago are unlikely to be lifted next week, particularly as saving the Christmas period is of the utmost importance. 

Andalucia ordered that from midnight on November 10 and until the same time on November 23, there would be a region-wide curfew from 10pm to 7am, that all non-essential businesses would close by 6pm and that all municipalities would close their perimeters, meaning no one could leave or enter unless they had a justification.

In Granada, the worst hit province, all non-essential businesses have been closed full stop while residents have been asked to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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