Spain hit the spotlight when it became one of the first countries in Europe to be affected by the Covid-19 crisis, but as it is slowly but surely also one of the first to show signs of recovery and appears to have turned a corner in the fight against the virus, it also becomes clear that not all parts of the country have been equally affected.
The impact of the virus was most keenly felt in large urban centres such as Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in the colder northern parts of Spain, where the average age of the population is higher. Though Andalucía makes up almost 20% of the total population of Spain, it makes up for less than 5% of the cases in the country, which confirms that southern regions such as the Costa del Sol have been far less affected.
Returning to normal
What’s more, the numbers are dropping more rapidly than elsewhere, and following the recommendations of Spain’s central government and its group of medical experts, the Andalusian Government has implemented the various stages of de-escalation that will allow a gradual relaxation of confinement. Small stores began to open in early May, and as of this week when Málaga province entered Phase 1, more companies will be added, in addition to restaurants and cafés that are already allowed to open their terraces.
Due to social distancing regulations, greater spaces will be left between tables and only parties of fewer than ten people can be catered for, reducing the seating capacity to 50% of the normal level, thus leaving lots of space in which to enjoy a drink and meal, socialise and take in some fresh air and wonderful views. As we continue to advance through the stages of de-escalation, the same restrictions will apply as indoor spaces of restaurants open, and we hope that by the end of June hotels and flights will have resumed too.
Andalucía’s sun and open spaces welcome you
Special health and distancing regulations will apply to air travel and the hotel industry to ensure visitors can enjoy the Costa del Sol in a safe and comfortable way. Establishments are installing the required measures and contracting disinfecting services that carry official health warranties, to prepare for the return of guests both national and from abroad. Marbella is one of the least affected areas in all of Spain, with few reported cases of the virus and a thorough process of confinement for much of March and April that is bearing fruit with the slowdown of new admissions to hospitals.
With this in mind, Marbella is getting ready for summer with the arrival of the warm May weather, preparing beaches, cleaning and treating public spaces, and coming to life with the opening of the restaurants, cafés and businesses that give it such charm. This week hotels and golf courses have also joined, still in a very relaxed way, but already people are enjoying the simple pleasures of a country walk, sports and fitness activities, and a relaxing drink on a sunny terrace. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and on the Costa del Sol it is sunny and breezy, illuminating wonderful views and open spaces.
Not surprisingly, Spanish holiday destinations are topping the internet searches of many people still under confinement in Northern Europe, and soon many will be enjoying the same warmth and freedom those of us who live in Costa del Sol cherish so much.