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Campo eases restrictions on non-essential businesses, maintains boundary measure

by Maria Jesus Corrales

All municipalities in the Campo de Gibraltar apart from Castellar will be able to recommence non-essential activities as from today, after the Public Health Alerts Committee for the province of Cadiz made that decision yesterday, recognising the drop in the Covid-19 incidence rates in the area.

Castellar maintains an incidence rate above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with 151 cases in a population of little more than 3,000, and must still follow tightened restrictive measures.

In the rest of the Campo area, non-essential businesses will be able to reopen between the hours of eight in the morning and six in the afternoon.

Furthermore, while most municipalities will maintain the ban on mobility beyond their boundary limits, the outlook in San Martin del Tesorillo and Tarifa is optimistic enough to relax that restriction in their specific cases.

This relaxation of the restriction measures was announced by the president of the Junta de Andalucia, Juanma Moreno, and will stay in force for seven days as from midnight, Saturday February 13. In other words, as from last night at 12 till 11.59 next Friday, February 19.

The reaction from the various city councils was near instantaneous.

After a month of empty classrooms, the mayor of La Linea, Juan Franco, called on parents to be prudent and “avoid crowding at the school gates next Monday,” while calling for great care to be taken, given that the virus’s third wave has exacted a heavy toll, in infections and deaths, on the city.

Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, the mayor of San Roque, reiterated the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene, and added that “for the non-essential business and hospitality sectors to recover lost jobs and greater economic activity, it is necessary for us to collaborate with these great professionals, who take care of us and follow the rules, and we, as clients, should follow them as well.”

The mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, highlighted the fact that the infection rates “remain excessively high, therefore we cannot lower our guard and we must follow, at all times, the advice, recommendations and measures for health.”

“It is good news that hospitality and traditional commerce can resume their activities, but it cannot be forgotten that the risk of infection still exists,” Mr Landaluce said, insisting that the preventative measures “are fundamental, not only to protect ourselves, but also to protect others.”

Miguel Alconchel, the mayor of Los Barrios, met with representatives of the hospitality sector yesterday and, while calling for responsibility from his fellow citizens, argued for “direct and urgent measures” for the businesses of his municipality, much affected by the absence of customers from the rest of the Campo area.

Mr Alconchel went on to say “[now] is the time to request direct and urgent measures from the different administrations for these businesses to survive. Fair and sufficient measures. Our businesses and hospitality are part of the economic motor of Los Barrios and the region, and we cannot let them die.”

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