Coronavirus is ravaging throughout Spain; once again the country is experiencing a substantial increase in new infections. This critical situation is putting a lot of pressure on hospitals across the country. Today, 41,587 new cases have been registered, the highest number recorded in one single day since the pandemic started.
The official number of deaths related to COVID-19 since March 2020 is now 54,637. Some will argue that the crisis is out of control. As a result, many provinces are closing down completely. It is expected that the central government may soon impose a national lockdown, or at least implement new, stricter restrictions.
Spain has been in a state of emergency since 25 October 2020. Among other measures, the country adopted a nationwide curfew between 22:00 and 07:00. However, the 17 autonomous regions themselves were given the option to bring forward or backward said curfew by one hour. In Andalusia, there has been a curfew in place since the beginning of November. All restaurants and shops have to close at 18:00. As of recently, it is not possible to move around different municipalities. These measures seemed to work well and the number of infected people dropped drastically to a point where the situation was under control.
However, on December 10, Andalusia slowly opened up again and restrictions became more lenient for the holiday period (Christmas, New Year and the Three Kings). That strategy has proved rather disastrous. It would seem that many families did not follow the recommendations in place and met in large groups during the holidays. It was expected that infections would increase after the holiday season ended (Three Kings), but no one foresaw such a substantial increase in cases.
In Andalusia, municipalities are partially closed down when they reach an infection rate of 500 per 100,000 inhabitants. When that rate exceeds 1000 per 100,000, the municipality is closed down completely, which includes the closure of all non-essential businesses. At the time of writing, the rate for Malaga is at 637, which means that the city is partially closed down.
This ongoing situation creates even greater economic pressure in Spain and particularly hits hard in Andalusia as tourism represents a major source of income for the region. It was expected that foreign tourists may be able to come back around Easter time, but as Coronavirus is ravaging throughout Spain, this may need to be postponed to a later date.