ANDALUCIA will enter stage two of its coronavirus de-escalation plan at midnight tonight, ushering in a wave of looser restrictions on travel and the hospitality industry. 

It comes after the most populous region rejected advice from Madrid yesterday, which suggested regions should look to ‘toughen up’ their measures over the festive period

President Juanma Moreno said on Thursday that he did not see any justifiable reason to steer course given that Andalucia had the second-lowest incidence rate of the virus out of the country’s 17 autonomous communities.

In fact the Partido Popular leader has today decided to loosen restrictions further due to the ‘favourable evolution’ of the virus. 

Extra measure announced for bars/cafes

The regional health minister Jesus Aguirre revealed that ‘cafes’ or bars with a cafe licence will be permitted to remain open from 6pm to 8pm. 

However during these hours, no alcohol can be sold and the establishment ‘must have coffee machines and be authorised to operate as a cafe’, reported Diario Sur.

A Spanish Marbella restaurant owner told this paper that ANY establishment, including restaurants, will be permitted to remain open AS LONG AS they have coffee machines and a cafe licence.

“I understand it to mean that if you have a coffee machine and a cafe licence you can open between 6pm and 8pm as a cafe,” he told the Olive Press, asking not to be named, “in theory that can apply to any business which meets that criteria, but the Junta has not made it clear and it is still confusing.”

The update and its details will be confirmed by the Junta in its official state bulletin (BOJA), expected later today.

All other hospitality establishments i.e. those without coffee machines and a cafe licence, must close between 6pm and 8pm before being allowed to reopen until 10:30pm. 

Restaurants can make home deliveries until 11:30pm with the last orders being placed at 10:30pm. 

Travel between provinces

Meanwhile, residents will be permitted to travel between the eight provinces of Andalucia from 0:00 Friday and until January 10. 

Curfew extended at both ends

People will also be allowed outside of their homes until 11pm and will be permitted to leave them from 6am.

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