THE incidence rate of coronavirus in Andalucia has fallen by 14 points since Christmas Eve, new figures from the Junta have revealed.
As of Monday, the ever-important figure stands at 135.1 cases per 100,000 people.
In the past 24 hours, the southernmost region has detected 567 new COVID-19 cases, down from the 697 detected on Sunday.
Cadiz counted the most cases Monday, with 126, followed by Malaga with 108, Sevilla 77, Almeria 62, Jaen 60, Granada 50, Cordoba 48 and Huelva 36.
Cadiz also saw the most deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours, counting nine.
It was followed by Granada with seven, Cordoba with six, Jaen four, Huelva and Sevilla three each and both Malaga and Almeria with one.
The number of hospitalisations in the region slightly increased Monday to 1,016.
Of these, 224 were in intensive care units, representing nine fewer than Sunday and 23 fewer than Monday last week.
No change to restrictions
It comes as the region announced it will not be adapting its current coronavirus Christmas plan.
It means the current restrictions will remain unchanged, meaning the hospitality industry can remain open between 6pm and 8pm as long as no alcohol is served.
This had been reserved for cafes only, but in practice has seen most hospitality businesses remain open during the two-hour window.
“The established measures will continue as they are this week thanks to the strong effort of everyone,” said Junta president Juanma Moreno, “which has allowed us to arrive to the Christmas period with reasonably low incidence and hospital rates.”
It means travel between the provinces, restaurants serving food from 8pm to 10:30pm and the 11pm curfew will continue until January 10.
As planned, the curfew will be extended once more on New Year’s Eve, as it was on December 24.
More contagious strain in Malaga
It comes as the ‘British variant’ of the virus was revealed to have arrived to Malaga and Granada.
The strain, up to 70% more contagious, was flown in from the UK, the regional health ministry said.
Moreno has now demanded that the Government in Madrid implement tougher controls at airports across the country.
“All the infected patients of the British strain have come from the United Kingdom,” Moreno said.
According to the regional health ministry, three cases have been detected in Malaga and two in Granada.
A further four in Malaga are also awaiting test results to confirm if they have been infected by the new strain.
All five of the infected are not reported to be in a serious condition.
Currently, only Spaniards or residents can return to Spain by plane.