What you need to know about coronavirus in Malaga

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.

Read information on easing out of lockdown in Malaga city and province. 

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 10 July 2020. Note also that it is no substitute for professional medical advice.

This article is one of the best I have read about coronavirus – it includes some US-based information but the facts are valid for anywhere in the world.

What’s the situation on coronavirus in Malaga?

As of 10 July, the incidence of covid-19 in Malaga city was 1.1 per 1 million, a figure classed as low. The R was 0.5 +/- 0.3. The Costa del Sol had broadly similar figures.

Need a bit of Malaga while you can’t visit?


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 enclosed spaces including public transport (and taxis) and when you’re outside and cannot be at least 1.5m from other people. 

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.

Should I cancel my trip to Malaga?

Several countries are advising against all but essential travel to Malaga. Some hotels have opened again, but their communal areas are closed until Malaga enters Phase 2/3 of easing out of lockdown.  Several airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet are taking bookings on flights from July onwards to Malaga, but much will depend on what travel precautions your country advises and the situation in Spain. On 21 June, the Spanish government opened the borders to Schengen countries excluding Portugal. Nationals from other countries including Portugal will find Spain open from 1 July. 

We would advise you to reschedule your travel plans for a few months time when the situation has been controlled. If you can, please don’t cancel altogether – 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.


Quarantine update

Note that as of 21 June, Spain is no longer applying quarantine to anyone arriving in Spain, including UK nationals.

When can we book to come to Malaga?

That’s the billion-dollar question and at the moment, unanswerable. Much will depend on the behaviour of coronavirus in Malaga, future outbreaks and of course, whether your country allows/advises travel to Malaga. Be aware that Malaga is now in what’s being called the state of ‘new normality’ and social distancing and masks are compulsory indoors and outdoors unless you can be at least 1.5m from other people.

We don’t think events will be allowed for the time being and maybe not until 2021.

All the above depends, as we all know, on how the virus behaves and how serious the second (and subsequent) waves of Covid-19 are. No one knows for sure at the moment how long immunity to the virus lasts among people who have had it or what percentage of the population has had it. Spain needs to be prepared for more lockdowns if the virus hits hard again.

That makes booking a trip to Malaga a challenge! Of course, the decision is ultimately up to you, but at the time of writing (20 June), I believe it isn’t worth booking anything until at least the end of July. And even then, be prepared to have to rebook for a later date.

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 when you’re outside and near other people.

(*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.

Catholic mass

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.

Is coronavirus seasonal?

There appears to be some evidence that the virus may be similar to flu in that it may be seasonal. It looks as if it doesn’t like lots of fresh air, warm temperatures and sunshine. Malaga, of course, has a ton of these 3. Vitamin sea and sunshine may turn out to be the best antidotes for it! 

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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