The new normal – life in post-lockdown Malaga

Like just about every city in the world, Malaga has had to adapt quickly to covid-19 health and safety regulations. There are a ton of them so it hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been very impressed with how seriously every business and establishment is taking them. To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a guide to life in post-lockdown Malaga.

The back story

Malaga, like the rest of Spain, shut down for a full 7 weeks between 14 March and 1 May. No one was allowed out except for essential shopping and medical emergencies. From 2 May onwards, people were allowed out for exercise during certain timeslots and since 18 May, Malaga has been gradually easing out of lockdown.

This consists of 3 phases that are identical all over Spain. You can read about which phase Malaga is in and what it entails here.

A little note

The list of things in the new normal might seem daunting but remember this is about staying safe. About being able to enjoy Malaga and everything about the city. And, bottom line? These measures mean you can come to  Malaga, which is so, so much better than not being able to come at all.

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What’s the state of coronavirus in Malaga?

On 14 July, Malaga had an incidence of 1.1 per 1 million (classed as low) and an R rate of 0.5 +/- 0.3. There have been 4,770 confirmed cases and 289 deaths since the start of the crisis. Malaga province has a population of 1.64 million.

Life in post-lockdown Malaga for individuals

  • Wear a face mask in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors except when you’re doing individual sport outside, swimming in the sea or a pool or sitting on the beach with people from the same household. Children under 6 and those with a medical certificate are exempt. Be aware that there are fines (€100) for non-compliance.
  • Keep 1.5m from other people wherever possible.
  • Walk in the direction of the arrows on the seafront promenades and Muelle Uno and generally keep to the right.

arrows on the seafront in post-lockdown Malaga

Top tip – you can buy face masks and gloves at chemists and most supermarkets in Malaga. Hand sanitiser is also readily available – look for it at supermarket checkouts.

Shopping in post-lockdown Malaga

  • Wait outside the shop to be invited in – most shops have a limited number of people allowed in at any one time.
  • Expect to be served in the street or in the doorway at small shops, many of which have set their counters up near the door.
  • Use hand sanitiser when you go into any shop (it’s readily available and in some shops, staff stand at the door to make sure you use it).
  • Use gloves in food shops (usually provided).
  • Shops prefer contactless card payment (€50 is now the maximum amount permitted without your PIN).

Going to the restaurant/café/bar in post-lockdown Malaga

  • Wait at the entrance for the waiter to escort you to a table.
  • You might have to wait while they disinfect your tables and chairs (obligatory every time a table becomes vacant).
  • You’ll notice tables are at least 2m away from the others.
  • Most restaurants no longer have plastic menus; you’ll see paper ones or QR codes instead.
  • Contactless card payment is preferred. If you want to leave a tip, tell them how much to add to the final amount.

Example of QR code at post-lockdown Malaga

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Hotels in post-lockdown Malaga

The following are just some of the measures in place at hotels in Malaga.

  • Rooms are thoroughly disinfected; some establishments are using ozone-cleaning.
  • You won’t find many soft furnishings (e.g. cushions) and items such as stationery.
  • Fewer rooms are occupied and fewer people are allowed in the communal areas at a time.
  • Meals are served at the table or in your room (rather than buffet service).
  • Online check-in is available.

To give you an idea of covid-19 health and safety in hotels in Malaga, read the measures in place at Gran Hotel Miramar.

Malaga Safe for You stamp

Malaga Council has introduced a seal for any establishment in Malaga that complies with covid-19 health and safety regulations. The Malaga Safe For You stamp is displayed outside the establishment and guarantees that the council has inspected and approved it.

This is super new and we haven’t seen any yet.

Malaga Safe for You seal

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New normal at museums in Malaga

All museums reopened in the city in May. When you visit, you’ll find:

  • Reduced capacity so you may have to queue to get in (top tip – go first thing or at Spanish lunchtime (2-4pm)).
  • Hand sanitisers at the entrance.
  • An infrared temperature checker.
  • No audio guides or guided tours.
  • The museum shops closed ☹

Post lockdown Malaga at sports centres

Not many are open yet, but those that are also taking hygiene very seriously.

  • Expect them to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between classes and sessions.
  • 2m distance between people.
  • Separate doors for entering and exiting.

Here’s an example of social distancing for yoga classes at Zen Studio

social distancing yoga at Zen Studio Malaga

The new normal at Malaga beaches

The beaches reopened on 1 June and have their own set of rules, clearly marked at the entrances:

  • Beaches are open from dawn to dusk only.
  • They are cleaned every night and raked during the day (there are 2 shifts of cleaning staff).
  • Showers are working and regularly disinfected as are handrails and litter bins.
  • You must be 2m away from other people (there are ‘beachguards’ enforcing this).
  • Each beach has a limited capacity.

covid-19 rules on Malaga beaches

Final thoughts

If this seems off-putting, remember it’s the new normal for everyone everywhere. Covid-19 is here to stay for the moment so it’s great to see Malaga taking everyone’s health and safety so seriously.

It’s also a huge relief to be able to enjoy the city again so we hope this post makes you feel reassured that Malaga is doing its absolute best to ensure you have a safe visit. Spain opened to visitors from the EU on 21 June and to international tourists from 1 July so we hope to see you very soon in Malaga!

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