THE incidence rate of the coronavirus in Andalucia has surged by eight points to 146.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 24 hours.
It comes after 1,092 cases were detected in the region on Wednesday, 545 more than on Tuesday and 56 more than a week ago.
Of the eight provinces, Sevilla counted the most new cases in the latest daily update, with 204, followed by Cadiz with 190 and Malaga with 186.
They were followed by Jaen with 125 new cases, Cordoba 116, Granada 114, Almeria 113 and Huelva 44.
Meanwhile there were 37 deaths from the virus counted Wednesday, four more than Tuesday and 12 more than the same day last week.
Jaen and Granada were the provinces with the most deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours, counting eight each, followed by Sevilla with seven.
Cadiz counted five deaths over the same period, while Malaga, Almeria and Cordoba saw three each and Huelva none.
New Christmas rules in force
It comes as the region has loosened coronavirus restrictions further today as the Christmas period officially began.
Until and including January 6, according to the BOJA, it is permitted for anyone to travel to the southernmost region to visit ‘their habitual family home or the home of close friends, purely for the purpose of gathering the family together over the Christmas period.’
The new measure, as any other, is protected by the state of alarm declared on October 25, which gives regional governments the power to bring in restrictions without a legal challenge.
Andalucia had vowed to remove the term ‘close friends’ from its Christmas travel reprieve but changed its mind following ‘pressure and insistence’ from the central Government in Madrid, reports Europa Press.
As has been permitted since December 18, travel is still allowed between Andalucia’s eight provinces.
Meanwhile, the festive period will also see the starting time of the curfew extended to 1:30am on the night of Christmas Eve, finishing as usual at 6am on Christmas Day.
The exceptions to the curfew will continue to remain the same i.e. travelling for work or to care for a dependent.
Lunches and dinners on December 24 and 25 will also see the current rule of six increased to a maximum of 10.
The number cannot be increased, neither indoors nor outdoors, except in the case of cohabitants.
President Juanma Moreno will next meet with the experts to decide whether or not the Christmas plan will continue as is on December 28.
Currently, the curfew is also planned to be extended to 1:30am on New Year’s Eve, but that could change if figures worsen over the next week.