Spain's four-phase plan for easing COVID-19 lockdown

Spain's four-phase plan for easing COVID-19 lockdown

Spain coronavirus
A worker disinfects a bench in Madrid during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Gabriel BOUYS/AFP)

MADRID: Spain's coronavirus lockdown is to be gradually eased in a four-step procedure which should be completed by the end of June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday (Apr 28).

Approved by Spain's Cabinet, the so-called transition plan has no fixed dates, and each phase will last at least two weeks in line with the incubation period of the virus.

Pedro Sanchez
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez holds a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid. (Borja Puig de la Bellacasa/LA MONCLOA/AFP)

Spain's COVID-19 death toll since the start of the outbreak rose by 301 to 23,822 on Tuesday, with the daily fatalities coming down from Monday's 331, the health ministry said.

The number of diagnosed cases rose to 210,773 - the world's second-highest after the United States, which has more than 1 million, according to a Reuters tally.

Here is an outline of how the different phases will work:

STARTING OUT

The preparatory phase began on Apr 26 when Spain permitted children to go out for an hour a day with one parent, within a 1km radius of home.

READ: 'We're going out!': Spanish kids reclaim streets after weeks indoors due to COVID-19 lockdown

On May 2, the rest of the population will be allowed out for walks or individual exercise.

Government offices will be opened to those with prior appointments and restaurants will be able to prepare take-out orders.

Professional sportsmen will be able to resume individual training, and all public locations will be cleaned and readied for phase one.

PHASE 1

Expected to start on May 11.

Bars and restaurants will be able to reopen their terraces while restricting occupancy to a third of their normal capacity. Hotels and tourist accommodation will open while keeping communal areas shut and must respect capacity restrictions.

Small shops may open, but not big shopping areas and all commercial activity must include hours giving priority to the over-65s.

Places of worship can open but with only a third of normal capacity.

PHASE 2

Bars and restaurants will be able to receive customers for table service only, restricting occupancy to a third of normal capacity.

Schools will open to children under six whose parents are unable to work from home.

Places of worship will be able to expand their occupancy to 50 per cent of their normal capacity.

Cultural events will resume with events limited to 50 per cent occupancy, or 400 people if it is outdoors and people are seated.

PHASE 3

The last step before Spain enters "the new normal".

All shops to open, while respecting a 50 per cent capacity with customers observing social distancing norms.

Restaurant capacities to be eased while ensuring a strict separation between customers.

Although restrictions on movement will be further eased, no movement will be permitted between regions until both have completed phase three, while the use of face masks outside of the home will be "strong recommended", particularly while using public transport.

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Source: AFP/de

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