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Monday, May 04, 2020

Plan for the transition towards the new normality: Frequently asked questions

There is a plan!

The Spanish Government has prepared a guide to try to respond quickly to the most common doubts expressed by citizens and the media in relation to the Plan for the Transition to a New Normality that was approved by the Council of Ministers on the 28th of April. The application of this plan is divided into four phases that begin today.

The guide includes a general questions and answers section as well as specific sections to clarify doubts related to commerce, travel and displacement, education, sports and leisure, administration, research, agriculture, fishing and food, and, lastly, consumer issues.

When can you visit other people at their home? What restrictions will there be to visit vulnerable groups? Under what conditions can one go from one province to another in phases I, II and III? Or, among others, when you can go to the country or the beach and if you can go sightseeing, are some of the questions that this guide tries to clarify.

The Q&A is 24 pages long and you can download it at this page.

Both the plan and the Q&A are littered with qualifying statements that go along the lines of, 'provided the rules are followed' or 'provided things evolve as expected', so it must all be viewed as being very subject to change as things progress. Importantly:
When will the borders be opened to tourism?
Spain always gives its tourists the warmest welcome and wants to do so in the greatest security conditions, both for those who come and for Spanish citizens. Therefore, we will gradually open up to tourism when we are in a position to guarantee this safety to tourists and residents. We are currently working on it with our community partners.
In other words, there's no news yet on when you'll be able to come on holiday.

There's some talk about reopening land borders with France and Portugal for Spanish nationals or residents in Spain, as well as residents in other countries of the European Union or Schengen Associated States to go to their homes, but with access restricted to those from outside the EU (that includes the British). Obviously, land borders are not applicable to Tenerife, but nothing definitive for opening of ports and airports.

If you're resident in Spain and need to have any of this information translated into English, I can only suggest that you speak to your usual Gestoria.

One of the first important measures I've spotted is that, from today, 4 May, it is obligatory to wear a mask on public transport (including taxis) and even in your own car if you transport someone who does not normally live in your household.

From today, we can go to the hairdresser, the dentist, the florist, the optician, the hardware store, aesthetic centers, toy stores, shoe stores and clothing and sports equipment stores. We can also pick up takeaways in restaurants and cafes. In general, in phase 0, retail establishments and commercial premises of up to 400 square meters, as well as those providing repair and repair services, can open their doors. But with limitations.