THE Junta de Andalucia will order the closure of eight towns in the Campo de Gibraltar following a surge in coronavirus cases.

The cumulative incidence rate in the Campo de Gibraltar East and West health areas are now at 316 cases per 100,000 people, compared to the region-wide average of 140.

The regional government said a high level of pressure on intensive care units and the proliferation of cases linked to the new, more contagious British strain’ in Gibraltar also influenced the decision.

In a statement, the Junta said the closure of the two health districts involves eight municipalities; La Linea de la Concepcion, Algeciras, Los Barrios, Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, San Martin del Tesorillo, San Roque and Tarifa.

A vaccination campaign is being planned in all the towns’ care homes, including their workers.

Population screening will also continue in La Linea and begin in Algeciras from today.

There have been a total of seven confirmed cases of the British variant in Andalucia, registered in Malaga, Granada, Sevilla and the Campo de Gibraltar.

“They all have good clinical evolution,” regional health minister Jesus Aguirre said of the carriers.

Data from the NHS on Gibraltar has also caused concern for the Andalucia government.

According to the latest figures, the British Overseas Territory has more than 2,000 cases, with more than 800 detected in the past two weeks.

Aguirre said closing down the campo’s borders is a ‘precaution’ to stop the spread of the virus, particularly the new strain.

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