THE Campo de Gibraltar is under siege from coronavirus despite weeks of much stricter restrictions, the latest figures show.
In La Linea, which shares the border with Gibraltar, the 14-day cumulative incidence rate has soared as of Monday to 2,266 cases per 100,000 people.
The figure increased by 811 points in one week, despite the municipality having been under tougher measures since the beginning of the year.
The town counted another 323 cases at the weekend and six deaths, the Junta de Andalucia reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, 12,500 children are missing school, with attendance rates not exceeding 5% since the start of the school year.
La Linea closed its borders at the beginning of January following the discovery of the more contagious British variant in Gibraltar.
But cross-frontier workers have continued to be allowed over, as have Brits with homes in the campo.
It has also seen all non-essential businesses closed for weeks now, but the infection rate continues to climb.
The story is repeated across the campo, with Algeciras counting 216 new cases over the weekend, San Roque 75, Los Barrios 66 and Tarifa 48.
These five towns counted 12 deaths from the disease over the same period.
In Castellar, the incidence rate has reached 2,197 cases per 100,000 people and in San Roque 1,274, meaning all non-essential activity must cease.
Los Barrios also broke the 1,000 threshold on Monday (1,142), meaning that as of Wednesday it too will have to close all non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants.
The explosive third wave in the campo region has also hit hospitals hard, with patients in La Linea and Algeciras having to be transferred to other medical centres in Cadiz province.
There have also tragically been 10 outbreaks in nursing homes and one in a cancer ward at Algeciras hospital, killing several patients.
From midnight tonight, Tarifa will have to close its outer perimeters after reaching an incidence rate of 666 cases per 100,000 people on Monday.
It comes after the measure had been lifted just a few days ago when the ancient town saw the figure dip below 500.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo admitted on Monday that the surge in cases on the Rock, which shares its border with the campo region, is due to the more contagious British variant.
“It has been impossible to stop the advance of the new strain, much more virulent, as effectively as we did during the first wave,” he said.
In an astonishing statement last night, Picardo said Gibraltar has not seen such a sudden loss of life in more than 100 years, with 38 COVID-19 deaths in the new year alone, out of a total of 45.