Spain holidays: Costa del Sol tourist resorts under new policed lockdown restrictions

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Two of Spain’s most popular Costa del Sol tourist resorts are now under new lockdown restrictions as a result of the high rate of coronavirus infections. A new nighttime curfew from 2am to 7am must be observed in Marbella and Estepona for at least a week from 2am yesterday.

The regional government had to ask special permission from the Supreme Court for the measure and this was granted.

It comes despite the fact similar requests have been turned down in other parts of Spain, including the Canary Islands, as “unjustified”.

The new curfew will restrict the freedom of movement of people on roads and in public spaces during the noted hours.

Both town halls say they will impose the measure but are unhappy that the coronavirus rates are being pushed up by the number of tourists who visit in the summer.

Marbella’s mayor, Ángeles Muñoz said the inflated population made the figures seem worse and she insisted the town was not seeing a spike in infections.

He added: “We have to adopt the measure and therefore I ask the general public to accept it.

“This means there will be no movement in the streets, except for workers who can prove their working hours, emergency and essential services.”

Extra police have been drafted in to make sure people stick to the curfew.

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Despite the heightened police presence, officials reported at least 15 breaches on Saturday night.

As a result, one shop was closed down.

A spokesman said it had been “a very hard night”.

The court ruled that the measure was “suitable and necessary” to protect the public health of the population from the virus.

It added the tightened rules were “proportionate” to the restriction on the fundamental right to personal freedom, with the occupancy rate of acute care beds is 21 percent in both towns.

This is classified as “a critical level” for intensive care.

The court considered that “the restriction of mobility during the five hours of the morning does not impede the exercise of other individual rights, being instead beneficial for the control and lower contagion of the disease.”

Andalusia’s regional government says it will take similar measures for other parts of the Costa del Sol and the rest of the region if coronavirus infections continue to spike.

Spain has recorded a gradual national increase in cases throughout July.

According to Worldometers, there were 24,753 new cases and 44 new deaths in Spain as of July 30.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an updated warning to Britons visiting the country.

It explains that they may be placed into government-mandated hotel quarantine in Spain if they test positive while abroad.

Britons will not be able to return to the UK until they have a negative coronavirus test.

“You may be able to remain in your existing accommodation or be required to transfer into a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation,” warns the FCDO.

“You may be required to fund accommodation whilst you wait to be transferred.

“The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other places of stay.”

It adds: “The UK government will not cover mandatory quarantine costs for British nationals.”

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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