ANDALUCIA could modify the loosening of restrictions set to come into force from December 18 if coronavirus figures continue to worsen, the president has warned.
Speaking on COPE radio this morning, Juanma Moreno said he was concerned by a possible surge in the incidence rate of the virus over the coming days.
“The virus continues to be among us and just one bank holiday weekend – while bars are closed from 6pm – has seen an uptick,” he said.
The long weekend which ended last Tuesday is feared to be behind an upward trend in several regions and at the national level this week.
For this reason, Moreno said, he has not ruled out modifying the rules set to come into force from December 18, including allowing for travel between the region’s eight provinces and allowing bars and restaurants to operate a late/dinner service between 8pm and 10:30pm.
It means thousands of people’s plans to travel home for Christmas – either from another province or region – could be at stake.
A meeting will be held with health experts on Thursday to analyse the latest figures and to decide whether or not to go forward with phase two of the de-escalation strategy.
Between December 18 and January 10, under the current plans, shops will also be allowed to open until 10:30pm and the curfew will start an hour later at 11pm and end an hour earlier at 6am.
There are also extra special measures in place between December 23 and January 6 which allow for people from outside the region to return home to visit family, while the curfew is to be extended to 1:30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
“If the figures worsen, we will have to limit some of these measures… they could see some editing,” Moreno said, “Everything is changeable, for better or for worse.”
On the ongoing battle with the hospitality industry, Moreno said he was concerned for businesses but said he had no other option ‘when the committee of experts says it is the best way to avoid deaths.’
It comes after the Horeca foundation, representing thousands of business owners, formally cut ties with the government and warned of protests.
“I understand the difficulties that can happen with such limitations, but to approve them is the responsible thing to do when experts and Public Health tell you it will save lives,” he said.
“The virus is still here and we must advance with care to try to control the pandemic.”