ANDALUCIA remains stuck in phase 1 of the three-phase plan for the progressive de-escalation of COVID-19 measures.

The accumulated incidence of more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants has caused the Advisory Council on High Impact Public Health Alerts (the so-called committee of experts) to continue with precautionary steps in the progressive de-escalation of COVID-19 measures.

Given the current data, the committee of experts has only agreed to one slight ‘correction’ to the current COVID-19 restrictions in the region, and concerns the extension of opening hours for bars and restaurants with terraces, which will be able to serve customers until midnight and open until 1am.

From midnight, however, the establishments will not be able to admit new customers or serve more drinks.

According to Andalucia’s Minister of Health, Jesus Aguirre, ‘the virus is still very much amongst us’ and has forced the Junta to halt, once again, the de-escalation plan towards normality.

Currently, there are no mobility restrictions in Andalucia, with nightclubs and pubs permitted to remain open until 2am, dance floors are only permitted in outdoor spaces with masks and just in level 1 areas. Likewise, celebrations have to end at 2am.

Due to the increase in cases among the under-30s, Aguirre has called on the support of the Policia Local to help with the prevention of ‘botellones’ (drinking in the street ), in order to try to halt the recent upward trend in positive cases in the younger age groups, an issue which ‘worries’ the experts.

On a positive note, the vaccine cover is progressing at a good pace, reaching the eight-million-dose mark this week and hospital pressure is still dropping—albeit slower than what experts hoped for, and with danger of a new increase.

“All these variables mean we will remain cautious when it comes to relaxing health measures, adapting, however, the opening hours of certain activities to the reality and characteristics of our region in the summer season,” Aguirre said.

The committee of experts will continue to make a daily evaluation of all the parameters and, if the evolution progresses adequately, will meet in two weeks to evaluate a possible move to the advanced phase.

According to the latest data released by the Junta, 1,806 new cases of the virus have been recorded in the region during the last 24 hours.

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