TOWN halls in Malaga province have started to cancel their New Year’s Eve celebrations as COVID cases rise.
Coin, Alhaurin de la Torre and Fuengirola have been the first to do so, citing public health and the need to maintain social distancing particularly with the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading.
The local councils are worried that the traditional crowds that gather on the last night of the year could lead to an explosion in infections that may overwhelm emergency wards.
On Friday, deputy mayor of Coin, Dori Luque, announced the suspension of the traditional costume party and grape-eating in the Plaza del Pescao.
The councillor added that the Christmas breakfast for the elderly and the traditional Plenary of the Rosquilla were also cancelled due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, which exceed 800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
For the time being, other planned activities are still going ahead.
The Mayor of Alhaurin de la Torre, Joaquin Villanova on Saturday announced the suspension of the big New Year’s Eve party planned for the Municipal Park.
He also appealed to ‘collective responsibility’ and called for ‘caution, common sense and prudence’ over the Christmas period.
However,other events in Alhaurin de la Torre will still go ahead, including the Crea Navidad Programme (from December 27 to 29, in the El Peñon building) as well as the Three Kings procession, which will be controlled and monitored with seating provided.
On the same day the Councillor for Fiestas of Fuengirola, Isabel Moreno, said that music performances at social centres and care homes would continue, with social distancing and mask wearing enforced.
The planned Medieval games and New Year’s Eve party would, however , be cancelled.
Alternatives for the Three Kings parade are being examined so children don’t miss out, on seeing the Wise Men, but no plan has been decided on yet.