This is an article by Guide to Malaga about coronavirus in Malaga with advice on what to do if you’re planning to visit the city or are already here. Note that on 14 March, Malaga went into lockdown and came out on 21 June after Spain lifted the state of alarm.
As a frequent traveller myself, I know how important it is to be informed and as a freelance journalist, I know how vital it is to have the right information. It therefore makes sense to share this on Guide to Malaga. The following is therefore a summary of the situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Malaga. I have used authoritative sources for all information and will be keeping this article up to date because, as we are all aware, this is a volatile situation and changing all the time.
Note that the information in this article is current as of 18 September 2020. Note also that it is no substitute for professional medical advice.
What’s the situation on coronavirus in Malaga?
Since the beginning of August, Malaga (along with the rest of Spain) has seen a gradual rise in new covid-19 cases. However, the incidence is generally much lower than other parts of Spain, particularly Madrid. Here are the figures (as of 11 September and published on the regional health service website)
- No. of new cases of covid-19 in Malaga province in last 7 days: 1,397
- No. of people hospitalised for covid-19 in Malaga province in last 7 days: 66 (3 in ICU).
- No. of deaths from covid-19 in Malaga province in last 7 days: 8
- Population of Malaga province: 1.64 million
- No. of new cases of covid-19 in Andalusia region in last 7 days: 6,184
- No. of people hospitalised for covid-19 in Andalusia in last 7 days: 403 (20 in ICU).
- No. of deaths from covid-19 in Andalusia in last 7 days: 43
- Population of Andalusia: 8.4 million
Safe Travels Stamp
On 6 August, Malaga city received the Safe Travels stamp, awarded by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The seal recognises tourist destinations that have applied health and hygiene protocols according to WTTC guidelines.
What about in the rest of Spain?
You can see an interactive map of the number of cases per province, city and town here. Just add the name in bar on the top right-hand side of the map for updated details.
Guide to Malaga has teamed up with Positively Organics and La Planta Sabia, 2 local companies who have put together a mask pack, perfect for these covid-19 times. The pack costs €25 and includes:
- A reusable organic cotton mask in the choice of 4 different designs.
- Anti-bacterial essential oil spray for freshness.
- CBD tea bags and sweet for calmness.
Buy yours for just €25 here – add the discount code MALAGA at the checkout.
Stay calm,fresh and organic behind that mask! (And support local Malaga businesses at the same time 💪)
What does it look like moving forward?
Malaga currently has a low incidence (see above) of covid-19, but as we all know, this virus is a volatile one and no country in the world has yet managed to eradicate it. However, coronavirus in Malaga has kept a low profile for several weeks now with hardly any new hospitalisations or deaths. Tracking and testing is in place.
What’s the lockdown situation in Malaga?
Like the rest of Spain, Malaga declared a state of emergency on Saturday 14 March, which lasted until 21 June.
Update: Spain introduced a series of phases that gradually ease the country out of total lockdown. You can find comprehensive and updated information here.
You must wear a mask in all public spaces (indoor and out) including public transport (and taxis), the beach and swimming pools. Exceptions are for individual sport outdoors, when swimming and sitting on the beach with people you live with usually, children under 6 and those who have a medical certificate.
Where can I buy masks?
All pharmacies have a choice of masks and there’s no shortage at the moment. The cheapest cost no more than €0.96. Supermarkets sell packs of 5 or 6, usually at the checkout. You can also buy cloth masks in many shops or get our exclusive mask pack for just €25 here. Just add the code MALAGA at the checkout.
What’s it like in Malaga post-lockdown?
The locals (along with the rest of Spain) have taken the health and hygiene measures extremely seriously. You’ll find a squeaky-clean city, social distancing going on, people fully masked and limited capacity at monuments, museums, shops and concerts. It isn’t quite life as normal, but we think it’s as good as it gets in the current circumstances. And we feel very safe.
Should I plan a trip to Malaga?
No one can answer this question but you and after careful consideration. You need to think about:
- The current situation in Malaga (see the figures above and information about post-lockdown).
- The situation in your home country – are you allowed to travel to Spain? Will you have to go into quarantine when you return from Malaga?
As of 20 July 2020, Malaga was welcoming around 100 flights a day from the EU and UK. Non-EU nationals from only 15 countries were permitted to travel to Malaga (and the rest of the EU). You can see an updated list here.
Whatever your decision, rest assured that this will pass and Malaga will still be here.
What if I’m in Malaga and need to get home?
Should there be another state of alarm and you have to leave Malaga, contact your airline to find out the status of your flight and do so quickly . Contact your consulate for advice. You are allowed to leave Spain and enter your country of residence.
Note that as of 21 June, Spain is no longer applying quarantine to anyone arriving in Spain, including UK nationals.
What about travel insurance?
Taking out travel insurance is always advisable anyway and absolutely essential to arrange in the current situation. Your travel insurance policy should provide health treatment for coronavirus and cover evacuation costs if necessary.
Note that most policies don’t cover you if you choose to travel to an area AFTER a level 3 or 4 travel alert is issued. But if you’re already in an area that receives a travel alert, you have a certain number of days (usually 10) to evacuate and your policy covers you during this period.
Are there preventative measures in place for coronavirus in Malaga?
As well as the lockdown and staying at home, Spain’s health authorities have issued guidelines for individuals to reduce the risk of infection. You’ll may also notice other measures as detailed below:
How to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, including your nails. Take at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday to you twice or see below*).
- Wash your hands as soon as you enter a ‘safe place’ – your home, hotel room or self-catering apartment in Malaga, for example.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow or disposable hankie when you sneeze or cough. Then wash your hands.
- Practise social distancing – stay at least 2m from other people.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with a cough or showing signs of a chest infection.
- Wear a mask in public spaces, indoors and out.
(*On a lighter note, check out this great Twitter thread started by journalist Jen Monnier with alternative 20-second tunes to sing. Our favourite is the chorus in Jolene 🙂 )
The Spanish traditionally go for effusive greetings – two kisses, firm handshakes and/or embraces. You’ll notice that people are avoiding these altogether, preferring air kisses or elbow nudges instead.
If you’re a church goer and go to mass in Malaga, you’ll notice the following preventive measures against COVID-19:
- No holy water available.
- No rite of peace with the traditional handshake or kiss with the person next to you.
- Hand-to-hand wafer for communion only.
As of 11 May, churches are open for mass and prayers, but only to 75% of their capacity.
Events in Malaga post-Covid-19
Events in Malaga are the best occasions of the year and attended by thousands. Research into Covid-19 has revealed that close contact at gatherings is one of the main causes of spread of the virus so it’s unlikely that events will take place in the short and medium term in Malaga. Malaga Fair has been officially cancelled and we imagine other events in Malaga this autumn will be too.
What about food in Malaga?
According to the health authorities, there’s no risk of COVID-19 involved with food in Malaga. You should, however, take the usual precautions such as washing your hands before preparing or eating food and after touching raw meat or fish.
What about touching animals?
Again, there’s no risk of coronavirus in Malaga from touching animals. But, again, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards as you would do anyway.
Where can I get up-to-date information about coronavirus in Spain?
The Spanish Ministry of Health has a dedicated section of its website that is regularly updated. You can access it here (in Spanish only – right -click to read in your language).
The Regional health authorities have similar information about the situation on coronavirus in Andalusia, available here (in Spanish only – right -click to read in your language).
Where can I get information about coronavirus?
If you think you have symptoms, have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus or are in Malaga after travelling in an affected area, call 900 400 061. For general information about coronavirus, call Salud Responde on +34 955 545 060. The helplines are open 24-hours a day and offer information and advice on coronavirus in several languages including English.
If you think you have symptoms, do not go to a health centre or hospital; wait for professional advice.
What about Guide to Malaga?
We’re devastated by what has happened and extremely sad to see Malaga shut down. However, we knew this will pass and that Malaga would still be here for everyone who wants to come and enjoy this wonderful city. We set up a brand-new section on our website and social media channels – My Malaga At Home – where we brought you this wonderful city for as long as you couldn’t visit Malaga yourself.
For the moment, Malaga has come out of it and is open and keen to welcome you. But obviously, this depends on whether you can and want to travel. But rest assured – Malaga is taking social distancing and hygiene regulations extremely seriously and can’t wait to see you!
We hope to see you in Malaga as soon as it is possible. Meanwhile, stay safe.
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