THE border town of La Linea de la Concepcion has been handed extra harsh coronavirus restrictions by the Junta de Andalucia.
The municipality, which borders Gibraltar, has been placed into Level 4.2 of the region’s coronavirus tier system.
The town is facing an unprecedented climb in the number of cases in the campo area and must order all non-essential business and trade to cease activity from midnight on Sunday.
This includes shops, hotels, restaurants and bars – with the exception of essential businesses such as supermarkets or petrol stations.
Experts made the decision along with regional president Juanma Moreno on Friday after the town’s cumulative incidence rate reached 1,247.9 cases per 100,000 people.
That is more than double the average rate of the currently besieged Campo de Gibraltar health district, which stands at 506.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The whole district, made up eight towns, is currently closed down, meaning no one can leave or exit without a justified reason, such as medical, legal or for work.
These measures will remain in place until at least January 25, Moreno said at a press conference today.
The campo was first closed off when health authorities discovered the more contagious UK variant of the virus had arrived in Gibraltar.
Since then, La Linea, which receives cross-border workers daily, has seen an extremely sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.
One worker told the Olive Press this week that the situation in the area was ‘out of control.’
The young woman, who works on the Costa del Sol but lives in the Campo, and her partner are still both waiting to be tested after coming into direct contact with a COVID-19 infected person.
But both have been unable to get through to their health centres and claim they have been left feeling abandoned, all the while showing clear symptoms of the disease.
“The trackers told us that it was most likely to be the UK strain of the virus, but that all they can do is call every other day to see how the symptoms are going,” the worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Olive Press.
“The Campo de Gibraltar is totally out of control, they are not doing tests and we can’t get through to a doctor.
“I am calling five different numbers for the emergency department at my local health centre and I cannot get through.”
As of yesterday Andalucia had detected 24 cases of the UK strain but the real figure is feared to be much higher.