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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Plan for the Transition to a New Normality

Corona Exit Strategy by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

PM, Pedro Sánchez, Wednesday, secured authorization from Congress to extend the state of alarm, first for another 15 days [until 23 May] and, later, for "several more weeks", up to six, for the duration of the de-escalation process, arguing that this is the only means to contain the pandemic and that to end it now would amount to "grave irresponsibility, an absolute and unforgivable error."

In summary, the phases of de-escalation in Spain are the following:

Phase 0 or preparation of de-escalation

This is the situation as of 28 April, characterized by the establishment of common relief measures for the entire country once the contagion curve has been flattened, allowing mobility outside the home, mainly in the private sphere, and measures with an associated risk of contagion of very low or null, provided that the safety instructions are complied with, based on the responsibility and self-protection of the citizens (individual sports activity without contact and walks, care of family gardens, some economic activities with capacity control, etc.). For this, measures are planned such as May 2 to allow outings and individual exercises for adults and small gaps in economic activity will be opened. For example, the opening of premises and establishments by appointment for individual customer service such as the opening of restaurants with food service to be able to take home, without consumption on the premises. Another example would be the opening of individual training, of professional and federated athletes and the basic training of professional leagues.

Throughout this phase, from Phase 0, from the preparation phase to that de-escalation, the preparation of all public premises with signage and protection measures will be intensified to prepare for the start of the next phase, which is the Phase I.

During this phase, measures may be adopted that exclusively affect certain territories. In particular, islands without external mobility and with practically zero contagion rates; the island of Formentera in the Balearic Islands and the islands La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa in the Canary Islands will anticipate their de-escalation, to Phase 1, on May 4.

Phase I or initial

Depending on the fulfillment of the indicators in the different territories, the partial opening of activities will be allowed, in particular, economic activities such as the opening of small businesses; in the restaurant trade, the opening of terraces with occupancy limitations of 30% [has since been increased to 50%]; in hospitality, the opening of hotels and tourist accommodation excluding common areas and with certain restrictions; activities in the agricultural field, professional sports activities with the necessary hygiene measures and places of worship may open, limiting their capacity to one third.

Phase II or intermediate

In this phase the partial opening of activities that remain restricted in phase I is proposed. With capacity limitations, in restaurants, the interior space of the premises will be opened with an occupation of a third of the capacity and guarantees of separation and only for table service. The school year will begin in September, however, in this Phase II, some exceptions are established to reopen educational centers with three purposes: reinforcement activities, ensuring that children under the age of six can attend the centers in the event that both parents have to work and for the EBAU (University entrance exams). Likewise, the resumption of hunting and sport fishing is planned, as well as the reopening of cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and similar spaces with preassigned seats; visits to monuments and other cultural facilities such as exhibition halls, conference rooms, all with a third of their usual capacity. Cultural acts and shows of less than 50 people may be held in closed places with 1/3 of capacity; and if it is outdoors it will be possible when these gather less than 400 people seated. Places of worship must limit their capacity to 50% in this second phase.

Phase III or advanced

In this phase, general mobility is made more flexible, although the recommendation to use a mask outside the home and on public transport will be maintained. In the commercial sphere, the capacity will be limited to 50% and a minimum distance of 2 meters will be set. In restaurants, the restrictions on capacity and occupation will be somewhat softened, although strict separation conditions will be maintained between the public.

New normal

Social and economic restrictions will end, but epidemiological surveillance, the strengthened capacity of the health system and the self-protection of citizens are maintained.

The specific dates and the actual evolution will depend on the behavior and control of the pandemic, as well as on the ability to overcome the different phases, under the conditions established in the plan. The time between each of the phases will have a minimum duration of two weeks, which is the average period of incubation of the virus.

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