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javeamigos.com | COVID-19: PHASE 3 AND WHAT COMES NEXT?

The Comunidad Valenciana enters Phase 3 tomorrow Monday 15th June, the final step of the de-escalation plan for the transition of the country to a position of “new normality” after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a three-month national lockdown. During this stage, authority over the process will be handed to the regional governments which can determine how long the phase will last and could also decide to lift the state of alarm before it officially comes to an end on Sunday 21st June.

What does Phase III mean? This final stage sees a whole raft of restrictions eased or even lifted altogether but maintaining certain safety measures in place, such as social distancing and hygiene requirements. On Saturday 13th June, the Generalitat Valenciana issued Decree 8/2020 to provide further details of the regulation and relaxation of certain restrictions with specific regard to the Comunidad Valenciana, some of which differ to the details given in State Order SND/458/2020 with reference to Phase III issued at the end of May since autonomous governments are now allowed to determine their own regulations.

Phase III in a Nutshell
Residents will be able to move freely across the autonomous community in its entirety whilst the time slots for walks and exercise established at the beginning of May will disappear and there will be no restrictions as to when you can leave your house. Social interaction will be eased so that groups of up to 20 people can meet together and children's playgrounds can re-open but so long as the safety and hygiene measures such as social distancing, which has been reduced to 1.5 metres, proper hand hygiene, etc. are respected.

Outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing and cycling will have no restrictions other than groups can be no more than 50 people. Recreational sailing is permitted up to a maximum of 75% of authorised capacity of the vessel (except for those who live together, in which case it may be 100% up to a maximum of 15 people). Jet skis are limited to one person except in the case of those who live together in which case they cannot exceed the authorised capacity. Navigation is limited to the waters off the Comunidad Valenciana.

Bars and restaurants can open their interior spaces to a maximum of 75% of licensed capacity but with a two-metre separation maintained between tables and clients can now enjoy a refreshing drink at the bar so long as social distancing is respected between third parties. Outside, the terraces can increase their capacity to 100% of licensed occupation (so long as the two metre separation distance is maintained) and in all cases prior reservation is recommended. Beach bars can open so long as they respect the same conditions applied to other bars and restaurants. Discos and nightlife bars can open so long as they don't exceed one-third of their licensed capacity and that the dance floor is off-limits (although it can be used to install additional tables).

Shops and other commercial businesses can open to the public to a maximum of 75% of their licensed capacity and the minimum safety distance between clients must be guaranteed and, if not, then the business should allow only one person to enter at a time. A priority service schedule should be offered for clients aged 65 years and above whilst a preferential home delivery service should be offered for certain groups.

Shopping centres can open but with a limit of 60% of the licensed capacity for their common and recreational zones. Shops and commercial premises can open to a maximum of 75% of their licensed capacity and with the minimum safety distance between clients guaranteed. Access to toilets will be controlled and security personnel should ensure that minimum safety distances are respected at all times and that groups don’t form in common passage areas, recreational areas, escalator areas and in elevators. Fencing or other systems can be used for better control and management to avoid crowding.

Street markets can increase their size to 75% of the usual authorised positions and access will continue to be controlled to ensure that the minimum safety can be maintained. Food and products of basic necessity are prioritised and these products cannot be touched and manipulated by the customer. Municipalities can increase the surface area allowed for the market or provide additional days if necessary.

With regards to employment, working from home should continue for those who can do their job remotely but in any case companies should put in place the necessary health and safety protocols and consider staggered working schedules to reduce the number of people gathering together and making interpersonal distancing difficult to maintain.

Common areas of hotels and tourist accommodation can re-open up to 75% of their licensed capacity and with the appropriate health and safety measures in place. Swimming pools and spas can re-open with the establishment determining the guidelines and recommendations for their use in accordance with the prevention and hygiene standards set by the health authorities.

Recreational swimming pools can open to the public up to 75% of their licensed capacity as long as social distancing can be respected and an appointment system should be set up if this cannot be guaranteed. Communal pools of hotels, tourist accommodation and urbanisations are subject to the same capacity limitations as well as the hygiene, cleaning and disinfection regulations.

What comes next?
What is a “new normality”? This is what that Spanish Government is calling the period immediately after the lifting of the state of alarm. Whilst various restrictions of movement will come to an end, it will still be mandatory to wear face masks when social distancing of 1.5 metres can’t be maintained and there are fines of up to 100 euros for those who refuse to conform. Workplaces will need to adopt and maintain prevention and hygiene measures whilst there will be compulsory health checks at airports. And these requirements will remain in place until COVID-19 no longer represents a danger, either by the introduction of a vaccine or an effective treatment is available.

And further lockdowns in the future are not ruled out but these would be very specific and limited, such as an affected municipality or district only, rather than a whole region or the entire country which could only be possible through the declaration of another state of alarm.

For more information:
State Order SND/458/2020 on Phase 3, dated 30/05/2020 [Link]
Royal Decree 21/2020 on , dated 10/06/2020 [
Generalitat Valenciana Decree 8/2020 on Phase 3, dated 13/06/2020 [

Source: See above.
Date: Sunday 14th June 2020





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