August 8, 2020

Small shops, terraces and hotels may open on May 11 in the provinces with a controlled epidemic

The small commerce, the terraces and the hotel establishments will be able to open from May 11, as announced by the Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez this Tuesday during the presentation of the de-escalation process, approved by the Council of Ministers. This is the date on which it is estimated that phase 1, or initial phase, of de-escalation will begin. Only the islands of Formentera (Baleares) and El Hierro, La Gomera and La Graciosa (Canary Islands) will be able to get ahead: their phase 1 begins on May 4.

The restrictions will be lifted in the provinces and islands that have a controlled epidemic. This will be measured through a series of virus evolution indicators, which will mark the evolution of the de-escalation and will be available for citizens and the media to consult. During the first phase, the terraces can only open to 30% of their capacity. The small business must open under “strict” security conditions. Large shopping centers are excluded, since “they increase mobility and crowds,” Sánchez said.

Tourist accommodation may open but excluding common areas. On the other hand, the small business must have a “preferential” schedule for those over 65 years of age. Sánchez has not elaborated further on this point. In this first phase, in addition, the activities of the agri-food and fishing sector that still have restrictions may be resumed, the opening of places of worship to a third of its capacity and the training of professional leagues will be allowed.

Phase 2, or intermediate phase, would begin at least two weeks after phase 1. That is, on May 25. In this phase, if the conditions and markers of control of the epidemic are met, the restaurants will be able to open but only with a third of their capacity and guaranteeing the separation measures. Visits to monuments and exhibitions (with a third capacity), cultural events of less than fifty people indoors, and outdoor events of less than 400 people, as long as they are seated, will also be possible.

In the last phase, 3 or advanced phase, the restrictions of capacity in the restoration will be relaxed and the opening of the “commercial area” will be allowed with gaps in half. This phase would begin two weeks after the previous one: at the earliest, on June 8. If everything goes well, two weeks later, on June 22, we would return “to the new normal”.

In phase 0 from this weekend

As Sánchez has indicated, from this Saturday, May 2, Spain enters the “preparatory phase”, in which in addition to allowing adults to go out for sports, “gaps in economic activity” will be opened.

Although until now, restaurants have been allowed to maintain home delivery, from Saturday onwards they will be able to go to the premises to collect food. In addition, they are going to begin to prepare the public premises so that the federated athletes can carry out individual training.


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