THE Junta de Andalucia has updated its lists of municipalities which will no longer have to close their outer perimeters or shut down all non-essential businesses.

Under current rules, if a municipality records a 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate of 500 cases or higher, it must close its borders and forbid anyone from entering or exiting, save for exceptional circumstances.

If a rate of 1,000 cases or more is recorded, then the municipality must also close all non-essential businesses.

The lists are updated every Monday and Thursday, with the restrictions to be applied the following Wednesday and Saturday respectively.

Once a municipality has been added to either list, it has two weeks to bring its incidence rate back under the threshold.

If it fails to do so, it will have to wait another two weeks before being assessed by the Junta and its expert committee.

However the Junta is now considering changing the rules so that towns can be assessed every 10 days if they have had as many consecutive 24-hour periods of lowering their incidence rates.

In Malaga, of the eight towns which were ordered to close all non-essential businesses two weeks ago, six have fallen below the 1,000-cases threshold: Alhuarin de la Torre, Manilva, Villanueva del Rosario, Benarraba, Casabermeja and Tolox.

They will be permitted to re-open non-essential businesses, such as bars and restaurants, from Wednesday.

Tolox and Villanueva del Rosario will also be permitted to re-open their outer perimeters after dropping to below 500 cases per 100,000 people.

Marbella and Estepona cruelly just missed the mark, registering incidence rates of 1,066 and 1,015 respectively on Monday.

They must now maintain the same restrictions until at least February 22.

Of the nine municipalities which had to close their borders two weeks ago, five continue to exceed 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and must maintain their current restrictions: Ojen, Cuevas de San Marcos, Montejaque, Riogordo and Yunquera.

Montejaque must also close all non-essential activity after exceeding the 1000-cases threshold.

Four of the nine municipalities, however, have fallen below the 500-cases barrier and can open their borders from Wednesday: Antequera, Archez, Totalan and Torrox.

The updates will be confirmed in the state gazette (BOJA) tomorrow.

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