MARBELLA, Mijas and Estepona have been declared as an ‘extreme risk’ in terms of coronavirus transmission.
The Costa del Sol towns join Ronda, Malaga city and Velez-Malaga in receiving the highest possible warning following an uptick in cases.
Also under the highest risk are Alhaurin de la Torre, Alhuarin el Grande, Cartama, Coin, Alora, Rincon de la Victoria, Gaucin, Manilva, Coin and Monda, among others.
The ‘extreme risk’ label, decided by the Junta de Andalucia, means the municipalities have a cumulative incidence rate of 250 cases per 100,000 people or above.
It comes as Andalucia has officially entered its third wave of the virus after seeing its cumulative incidence rate soar to 314.3 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday.
Just over a week ago the ever-important figure was below 200, while COVID hospitalisations have increased for 10 straight days, reaching a total of 1,535 as of Tuesday.
Some 143 patients were admitted on Tuesday alone, the biggest daily increase since November 10.
The intensive care units also saw the biggest daily climb in coronavirus patients (33), since November 8.
It comes after regional president Juanma Moreno declared Monday that January and February would be ‘very difficult months.’
“Nothing is finished here,” the Partido Popular leader said, “Remember that none of us are exempt from being infected and dying from COVID-19.”
Moreno warned that there are young people dying from the coronavirus in the region.
It came after Spain registered its worst ever weekend figures, detecting 61,422 cases between Friday and Monday.
Both sets of statistics would have likely been much worse if testing capabilities had not been dramatically reduced by Storm Filomena, which wrought havoc across much of the country.