Spain’s regions undergo their last phase change today as part of the ongoing deescalation from a coronavirus lockdown that began in mid-March.
Most parts of Spain will enter Phase 3, the last stage before the end of the state of alarm that underpins the confinement measures.
The northwestern region of Galicia is moving faster and will transition straight into what is being called “the new normality” by the Spanish government.
This will restore freedom of movement but maintain certain safety norms in place, such as social distancing and heightened hygiene measures.
But territories such as Madrid and Catalonia, which have been the epicenters of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spain, are scaling down slower.
Today seven areas will remain in Phase 2: the Madrid region; the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area, as well the healthcare area of Lleida in Catalonia; and the provinces of Salamanca, Ávila, Segovia and Soria in the region of Castilla y León.
The health ministry has allowed all three provinces in the Valencia region, Alicante, Valencia and Castellón. to progress to phase three of the government’s exit plan.
The move means that residents will be able to travel between the three provinces in the region from today.
The timetable for exercises and walks will also be scrapped.
This phase will be managed by the Valencia regional government.
President, Ximo Puig says on the Costa Blanca we will see “an improved phase 3” with more openings than expected.
Capacity in hotels, shops, bars and restaurants is now allowed to 75 per cent, with 100 per cent terrace use but still with a (two metre distance between tables), and public gatherings of up to 800 people at outdoor events are allowed.
Puig said it is hoped shops, theatres, banqueting halls, cinemas, shopping centres, fairs, monuments, zoos or aquariums will be “more profitable” under the improved measures.
In addition, the social distance has dropped to 1.5 metres, although in certain cases, such as in bars it will remain two metres, and at indoor sports facilities such as swimming pools it will be four metres.