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Really Good COVID-19 News

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ortunately, COVID-19 figures in Spain as a whole, in Andalucía and our province, continue to be much better news. Infection rates, deaths and numbers per 100,000 are still falling, and less than 2% of beds in Spanish hospitals relate to COVID-19 patients and only 5% in intensive care wards. In an ‘In the News’ item we contrast these with the steep rise in the UK that seems to be getting worse every day. Current thinking in Spain is that wearing a mask in inside locations will continue until Spring next year. Vaccination figures are excellent and we have the latest figures in our ‘In the News’ items, including mentioning a video that went viral. The staff at the large vaccination centre in Almería city were jumping in the air and singing on October 8th. They had reached the milestone of 90.5% of all people over the age of 12 being fully vaccinated, which is 78% of the total population. In Andalucía there are 3 million children between the ages of 5-11, and to have 90% of the whole population in Spain being fully vaccinated, this age group has to be included. Health authorities are waiting for the approval of the reduced-dose Pfizer vaccine from the European Medical Agency, and it is hoped that this will be given before the end of November. The 2021 anti-flu vaccination campaign started on October 14th, primarily intended for those aged 65 and above and other categories. As was the case last year, family members living with a person over the age of 65 will be encouraged to have the vaccination. Persons over the age of 70 who had their complete COVID-19 doses six months ago are being given the COVID-19 booster jab at the same time as the anti-flu jab. This will then come down to all people over the age of 65 who have had both doses. Electricity prices are still extremely high for the 11 million people on the variable-hour tariff, and we explain in an article how the new ‘High, medium and low’ price periods have almost no difference

in cost. The aim that the cost overnight and all weekend is the lowest, is no longer true most of the time. The Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition had been hoping that the EU would come up with a solution, but this was not the case. During December the EU will look at the situation again and decide on any action.

The cost of petrol and diesel is the highest for seven years, and it is calculated that for the average motorist it costs an extra 15-19 euros to fill up than it did this time last year. The price of a bottle of gas has also gone up by 14%, the highest since January 2015. Food prices have gone up and the representative basket of products that is used as a reference price has gone up 7.1% since the same period in 2020. All these increases in price have forced the cost of living up by 4%, the highest rise since 2008. Theatres and concert halls are getting back to normal and in our ‘What’s On’ section we list the events that we think may be of interest. After November 1st there are no national “red” fiesta dates when everything closes down, but December 6th is a national fiesta to celebrate the signing of the Spanish Constitution in 1978. December 8th is another national fiesta in honour of the religious Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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