THE current coronavirus restrictions in Andalucia will remain in place for at least another two days.
Junta president Juanma Moreno confirmed this afternoon that any changes to the measures would not come into force until December 12 (Saturday).
However the meeting with the so-called committee of experts to decide on the future of the restrictions will take place on Thursday (tomorrow).
The meeting will take place in the afternoon with any changes agreed to be announced by Moreno during a press conference at the end of the day.
It is not yet clear what restrictions will be modified or lifted but previous comments from regional government ministers have suggested that extending the closing hours of bars and restaurants will be a priority.
On November 23, Junta vice president Juan Marin said the hospitality industry ‘will probably’ be allowed to remain open until 8pm or 9pm ‘if the evolution of the virus continues its downward trend.’ Currently, any non-essential business has to close up shop at 6pm.
At a press conference today, Junta spokesman Elias Bendodo said the measures currently in place are having a noted impact.
There are currently 1,534 coronavirus patients in hospitals across the region, of which 337 are in intensive care units (ICUs).
“It is a positive figure as it has dropped by 2,000 since November, which saw a peak of more than 3,500 patients,” said Bendodo.
“The second wave of the pandemic has been in decline for days now and I want to thank the efforts of health workers and Andalucians who have acted responsibly.”
But Junta leaders will want to keep seeing the figures drop, meaning they will have to strike a fine balance between opening up enough to help businesses survive Christmas and trying to avoid a dreaded third wave.
One measure which will be analysed will be the curfew, currently in place from 10pm to 7am, and whether or not residents will be permitted to travel to another municipality.
But president Moreno has kept his thoughts on these restrictions to himself, commenting only that the experts will have the final say.
It comes after the central Government ruled that between December 23 and January 6, travel will be allowed between regions for the purpose of visiting family or ‘close friends and loved ones.’
It de facto means that between these dates residents in Andalucia will also be permitted to travel between towns and provinces to visit family.
However Andalucia has already said it will adapt the rule to remove the term ‘allegado’, meaning a close friend, as it is ‘too ambiguous’ and could lead to a mass onslaught of travel, increasing the risk of a third wave.