Minister Pedro Sanchez set out his government's plans
for the country's emergence from lockdown in a press
conference on Tuesday evening, outlining a flexible four-phase
de-escalation known as the 'Plan for the Transition
Towards a New Normality' which has been approved by
the Cabinet to re-activate Spain after more than six
weeks of confinement. He also advised the country that
another two-week extension to the State of Alarm, which
is currently due to end on May 9th, would be requested
explained that the de-escalation will be gradual and
asymmetrical based on the actual situation in each region
but coordinated central by the Government. He warned
that people would not be able to travel between provinces
or islands until normality has been restored, perhaps
at the end of June, so visits to family or journeys
to second residences in another area of the country
remains prohibited to avoid the spread of infection
from region to region. Some provinces could get to different
phases and different times. "Imagine that
one province is in Phase 1 and another in Phase 3."
0 would begin on Monday 4th May which would allow
small business to open such as restaurants that can
offer food on a takeaway basis as well as venues that
can take reservations. This phase also includes hardware
stores although customers would have to call and make
an appointment to be able to buy a particular product
as only one person would be allowed to enter the store
at a time. Hairdressing salons will also be allowed
to open, although they would need to use the maximum
level of individual protection such as masks and gloves.
Gyms will be able to offer individual classes whilst
individual training will be permitted for federated
sports players and professional leagues. The Government
is yet to publish details of the conditions for adults
to be able to go outside for short periods of exercise
from May 2nd.
1 would allow partial opening of small businesses
under strict safety measures in defined regions
but this would not include large shopping centres where
large crowds could form. There will also be a timetable
which allows the over-65s, considered a high-risk group,
to shop in retail establishments. The use of masks on
public transport will be highly recommended. Hotels
and tourist apartment complexes can open but communal
areas will remain off-limits. Bars and restaurants will
be able to open their outside terraces but only to a
maximum of 30% of normal capacity and entry to the interior
of the venue will be prohibited. Churches and other
places of worship will also be able to open their doors
but attendance would be limited to 30% of normal capacity.
Moving around a province will be permitted which means
that people could begin to visit friends and family
in the same province from about Monday 11th May.
2 will see bars and restaurants allowed to open
their dining areas up to a third of normal capacity.
Cinemas and theatres will be able to open but only up
to a third of normal capacity and with an assigned seating
policy. Cultural events will be permitted with up to
50 people in interior spaces and up to 400 for open-air
events where all attendees would have to be seated.
Schools, which will remain closed until September, would
be able to offer classes for children aged under 6 years
if their parents have to go to work whilst students
will also be able to complete university applications
processes and exams. Restrictions will be eased further
on sports players.
3 is the "advanced phase" which will be
activated once certain markers have been met. General
movement will be relaxed although it will still be recommended
to wear masks on public transport. Stores and other
public-facing businesses will be limited to 50% of normal
capacity with the measures in place for social distancing
of two metres whilst restrictions will ease for bars
and restaurants. Cinemas and theatres will be able to
increase to 50% of normal capacity. Working from home
would be preferable until this phase is reached.
phase is intended to last two weeks, which Sanchéz
explained was the length of the incubation period
of the coronavirus, and in the best-case scenario,
Spain would return to a sense of normality in two months.
"By the end of June, as a country will be in
a new normality if the evolution of the epidemic is
under control in all territories." He added
that there is no set timetable for de-escalation and
that it will advance as quickly as the epidemic allows.
The markers which will set the pace include the capacity
of the country's health systems, the situation in each
region, the protection measures applied in the work-place,
business and public transport networks, and mobility
and socioeconomic data.
Prime Minister concluded by warning that the virus "has
not gone anywhere. It is still lurking." adding
that the behaviour of citizens can save lives and help
rebuild the country. The four-phase de-escalation would
have to be adaptable "because we don't know
what we are facing. Science still doesn't know a lot
of things about this virus. We have to be cautious."
from various sources
Date: Wednesday 29th April 2020