After 6 long weeks of complete lock down in Spain, the Government is finally getting ready to ease up. Just this past week, Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift the corona-virus lock-down and return to normality by the end of June.
In retrospect, getting through the stages will depend on certain factors, such as how the rate of infection evolves, the number of intensive care beds available locally and compliance with social distancing rules.
We are still waiting to hear more about the specific rules or plans, but for now here is what we know so far.
The key points of the plan, which will vary from province to province, are:
Preparatory Phase 0 (4-11 May)
Hairdressers and other businesses that offer service by appointment can reopen.
Restaurants can offer take-away services.
Professional sports leagues will go back to training.
Short walks and individual sporting activities allowed starting on 2 May.
Health workers near the disinfection area of the Navarra Hospital Complex in Pamplona
Phase 1 (about two weeks from 11 May)
All provinces that meet the requirements will move to phase 1 on 11 May, except for three islands in the Canaries archipelago – La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa – and the Balearic island of Formentera, where phase 1 begins on 4 May as an exception.
Small businesses to reopen under strict safety conditions.
Bars and restaurants can reopen their terraces with no more than 30% occupation.
Hotels and other tourist accommodation can reopen, excluding common areas.
Shops and other service providers must set aside preferential times for customers aged over 65 to visit.
Places of worship will also be reopened, limiting the capacity to one third.
Phase 2 (about two weeks from late May)
Theatres and cinemas to reopen, filling no more than a third of their capacity.
Cultural centres such as art galleries and museums will reopen, again operating only at a third of regular capacity.
Places of worship will increase their capacity to 50%.
Hunting and sport-fishing will be allowed.
Some schools will reopen, though most will stay closed until September.
Phase 3 (around the end of June)
Shops will be allowed to open at half capacity with distancing of two meters between clients.
Restrictions on restaurants and bars will be further loosened.
Opening of beaches.