SPAIN’S government last night announced that more than half the country’s population will, on Monday, move to ‘phase 1’ of de-escalation from the coronavirus lockdown.

It means that residents will be able to visit loved ones, attend funerals, go shopping without a ‘cita previa’ and drink or eat on bar and restaurant terraces – report El Pais.

The selected regions join the islands of El Hierro, La Graciosa, La Gomera and Formentera, which entered phase 1 on May 4.

These are the key points for those in the lucky areas:

  • You can now travel within a province, island or healthcare area that has entered phase 1, for example to visit elderly relatives, or even use hotels.
  • Timetables for outdoor leisure will still be in place, but each region has powers to adjust hours to suit their needs. The Valencian Community has already asked, for example, to change the hours children are allowed outside to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Schools will be able to open, with orders to avoid crowds, primarily for students whose parents cannot take care of them due to work commitments.
  • Universities will reopen to be disinfected and prepared for the eventual return of students.
  • Meetings of up to 10 people are permitted, both outside and in private homes.
  • Those currently working from home are recommended to continue to do so where possible. Workplaces that reopen, meanwhile, must maintain social distancing of two meters between employees and to use protective gear when this is not possible.
  • Workers who need a uniform or other gear must wash them daily at high temperatures.
  • You drink drink at bars, restaurants and cafes provided only 50% of space on terraces is occupied. A minimum distance of two meters between tables is required, and groups of customers cannot number more than 10. Establishments will not be able to open their indoor dining areas, but will still be able to offer food to take away, as under phase 0.
  • Restaurants and bars will need to prioritise single-use tablecloths. Fabric tablecloths will have to be washed at high temperatures before used again.
  • Businesses will have to provide hand gels and disinfectants to customers. Items such as serviette dispensers, toothpicks and oil and vinegar bottles will also not be used, in favor of single servings.
  • Premises measuring under 400 square meters will be permitted to open, as is the case under Phase 0. An exception here will be premises located in parks or shopping malls where there is no direct access from outside. Stores will be able to allow customers in up to 30% of their usual capacity, and a two-meter safe distance will have to be observed between customers. A preferential timetable for the over-65s must be established. Promotional campaigns that could attract a large number of customers will not be permitted.
  • Vehicle dealerships can reopen, as well as ITV inspection centres. Garden centres can reopen. All establishments open to the public will have to disinfect their premises twice a day.
  • Libraries can reopen, but activities cannot be held, and objects lent to members of the library must be quarantined for two weeks.
  • You can take walks in natural parks and natural areas.
  • Museums can reopen, with capacity limited to a third.
  • Open-air street markets will return, if permitted by local councils, with restrictions to the distance between stands. The number of usual stands will be limited to 25%, while the public will be limited to a third of usual capacity.
  • Hotels can reopen with no limit on rooms, but there will be restrictions on the use of common areas such as restaurants.
  • Funerals are allowed, the number of relatives will be limited to 15 in open-air spaces, and 10 in closed areas.
  • Places of worship will reopen, but the number of attendees reduced to a third of usual capacity. Attendees must wear masks and avoid the exchange of any objects to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Sports centres can also reopen, although athletes can only be accompanied by a coach. Minors or anyone with a disability are exempt from this rules, however, as well as anyone who requires more than one companion. Open-air sports facilities can restart activity via an appointment system. After each event, installations must be disinfected.
  • You can travel to a second residence, provided it is located in the same province as your primary residence.
  • You can also travel to hotels and tourist accommodation in your own province, with restrictions on the use of common areas such as dining rooms.

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