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The Comunidad Valenciana will move to Phase 2 of the Government's phased de-escalation schedule on Monday 1st June, it has been confirmed by Health Minister Salvador Illa. The region joins some 70% of the population of Spain in entering the second half of the controlled lifting of the lockdown which has confined the nation to its homes since mid-March. Phase 2 allows a greater freedom of movement for walks and physical activity, bars to open their interior spaces, access to beaches and shopping centres to open, albeit with required capacity limitations and health and safety procedural requirements.

Perhaps one of the most important features of Phase 2, the details of which were outlined in State Order SND/414/2020, published in BOE-A-2020-5088 on May 16th, is the lifting of restrictions on walks and physical activity. From Monday 1st June, children and adults will be leave the house and go for a walk or engage in a physical activity such as jogging, running, cycling, etc. in any part of the province with no time or distance limit, except for senior citizens aged 70 years and over who are still restricted to 10.00am-12.00pm and 7.00pm to 8.00pm for their daily exercise. The requirements for health and safety remain, such as social distancing of at least two metres. (SND/414/2020 Chapter II Article 7 Section 1 & 2 and Fifth Additional Provision).

With regards to jobs, working from home is still to be encouraged for those employees who are able to do so. All business owners and manages who do re-open their premises must comply with hygiene and prevention measures for employees, including the use of authorised gels and disinfectants and adequate protective equipment if an interpersonal distance of at least two metres cannot be guaranteed - and employees need to be trained in its proper use. (SND/414/2020 Chapter Article 3 and Article 4).

Beaches can also re-open but with established limitations on access and capacity in order to guarantee social distancing of at least two metres between bathers. Some municipalities have already been looking at roping off individual areas for bathers and the State Order has detailed that it considers that each bather will occupy four square metres of beach area to assist municipalities in determining the maximum capacity. The Order also suggests the use of time slots to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the beach. Outdoor showers, footbaths, toilets and changing rooms can open but limited to one person at a time whilst jet skis, pedal boats, etc. can be offered for hire but all equipment must be properly cleaned and disinfected between use. (SND/414/2020 Chapter X Article 46 with appropriate amendments SND/445/2020).

Bars and restaurants may re-open the interior spaces but only to a maximum of 40% of their certified occupancy limit. Drinks and food can only be consumed at a table and clients will not be able to stand or sit at the bar. All other requirements established in Phase 1 remain. (SND/414/2020 Chapter IV with appropriate amendments SND/445/2020).

Public swimming pools can re-open with a maximum capacity of 30% of the certified occupancy limit, provided that social distancing of at least two metres by users can be guaranteed. Visits to the pool have to be pre-booked and a time slot will be issued for its use; users cannot remain in the pool area longer than their assigned time. (SND/414/2020 Chapter X Article 44).

Covered sports centre can re-open to a limited capacity of 30% of normal capacity and their use has to be controlled by an appointment system to minimise the accumulation of people. Individual sports and those played by a maximum of two people without physical contact are permitted. (SND/414/2020 Chapter VIII Article 42).

Hotels and tourist accommodation can re-open their communal areas but capacity must be limited to a third of the occupancy limit set by the venue. The requirements for the bar and restaurants above also apply to hotel and tourist accommodation facilities. Swimming pools and spas can be re-opened but must follow guidelines established by the venue in accordance with standards established by the health authorities with regards to occupancy limits, pre-booking and assigned time slots, etc. (SND/414/2020 Chapter VII Article 22 & 23).   

Cinemas and theatre can re-open but only with pre-assigned seating and a capacity of no more than one-third of the authorised occupancy limit. Online or phone sales of tickets are recommended and card payment should be encouraged at box offices to avoid the use of cash. (SND/414/2020 Chapter VIII Article 38).  

All retail and commercial premises can re-open, regardless of surface area, so long as the total capacity is reduced to 40% and an interpersonal distance of at least two metres can be guaranteed. Shopping centers can re-open but the communal areas will have limited capacity and loitering will not be permitted in those common areas other than in bar and restaurant facilities which comply with the established regulations for their opening. Recreational areas such as children's play zones and rest areas will remain closed and shops will be limited to 40% of their maximum capacity with all required health and safety protocols to be followed. (SND/414/2020 Article 12).  

Click here to read the State Order SND/414/2020 for more details.

Source: Ministry of Health
Date: Friday 29th May 2020





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