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COVID-19 Update: Over half Spain's regions enter final phase of de-escalation

Last Friday, June 5, 2020, the Spanish Health Ministry announced that it had approved every region’s request to move to a new stage of the coronavirus deescalation plan, meaning that as of today more than half of the country is entering Phase 3, while Madrid and Barcelona are allowed to enter Phase 2.

The entire region of Andalusia will also enter phase 3, this time not leaving Malaga and Granada behind. The positive figures that the two Andalusian provinces have been recording recently is the reason why they will be allowed to progress after only spending one week in Phase 2.

Differences between Phases 2 & 3

The main differences between Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the coronavirus deescalation plan are the limits put on capacity at restaurants, libraries and other public-facing facilities. For example, sidewalk cafes can open at 50% capacity under Phase 2, and at 75% under the latter.

The number of people allowed in social gatherings is also higher, 20 compared to 15. Bars are also allowed to reopen under Phase 3, but with safety measures in place. Another important difference is that regional authorities assume control of the deescalation process during this stage, and can decide how long this last phase should last.

Below we explain in greater detail  how the restrictions will be lifted in Phase 3:

  • The occupancy on a terrace of a bar or restaurant rises to 75 percent in Phase 3

  • Bars are now allowed to open inside with 50 percent maximum capacity although they must have safety measures in place

  • The number of people allowed to meet socially has risen to up to 20 people during

  • The timetable which gave different age groups specific hours in which to go outside and exercise has been eliminated in the final phase

  • Youth activities can carry on with a third of the usual capacity and a maximum of 80 people if inside and 50 percent and a maximum of 200 people if outdoors

  • Amusement parks, zoos, aquariums and that sort of thing can open with 50 percent of capacity outside and 30 percent inside

  • Tour groups can restart their guided tours with up to 20 people

  • All shops can now open regardless of the size including shopping malls as long as capacity does not exceed 50 percent

  • Cinemas, theatres, shows, concerts can all open but with 50 percent occupancy and a chair’s space between each person not from the same household with up to 80 people indoors and 200 people in the open air

  • Weddings, baptism and first communions can now go ahead with 75 percent of the venue’s capacity - up to 75 people when indoors; 150 people when outdoors

  • Libraries, museums and exhibition spaces can welcome 50 percent of the usual capacity

  • Hotels can now open their common areas including spas for up to 50 percent usual capacity

  • Work conferences can have up to 80 attendees

What other rules are there?

Masks are compulsory for all those over the age of six in public places and places open to the public where it is impossible to maintain the 2 meter social distancing rule.

However there are exceptions for those who have respiratory, health or behavioural problems that make the wearing of a mask impossible or if you are eating or drinking.

Travel restrictions

The Spanish government has decided that regional authorities will be given the responsibility for deciding when their provinces can transition from Phase 3 to the "new normal" which means it could be possible before June 21st when the state of alarm officially ends. Once transition has been decided, travel between provinces that have also advanced beyond Phase 3 should be allowed.

From the international travel's outlook, it has been announced that foreign visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a two week quarantine on arrival in the country from July 1, 2020.

Furthermore, Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said the country would probably lift quarantine measures for travellers coming from Portugal and France from June 22, 2020 - the same day the state of emergency would no longer be in place.

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