On the 13th of May the European Commission presented three guidelines to help EU countries gradually lift travel restrictions and allow businesses to reopen. The three guidelines are:
- A common approach to lifting restrictions of free movement at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way, mirroring the progressive lifting of domestic restrictions
- A common framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel
- Common criteria for gradually and safely restoring tourism activities, in particular for health protocols for hospitality (hotels, etc.)
For further details: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_870
As indicated in our previous newsletter the transition in Spain is planned to take place in four phases (0, 1, 2 and 3), each lasting two weeks. If all goes well the country will complete the transition to the “new normality” by the 22nd of June. The initial schedule is as follows:
4th May 2020 – Stage 0
Preparation period. (Some small islands in the Canary Islands and Formentera commenced Stage 1 already on this date).
Two adults who cohabit can go for one walk a day of maximum one hour and 1km from your home. Individual sport is permitted (jogging, bike riding, etc.). Each age group has a separate time for these activities (adults 06:00-10:00 + 20:00-23:00; vulnerable population 10:00-12:00 + 19:00-20:00; children 12:00-19:00). Individual training of professional or federated athletes are also permitted. Restaurants are now allowed to offer pick-up service in addition to the delivery service. Small businesses can open but an appointment must be made in advance.
11th May 2020 – Stage 1
Opening of hotels and tourist accommodation (not the common areas), small businesses with restricted access and restaurants and bars (terraces only) limiting the capacity to 50%. Social reunions of maximum 10 persons with social distancing measures. Museums and churches can open to 30% of their capacity.
All or parts of the regions which have suffered the worst outbreaks – particularly the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Catalunya, Castilla la Mancha and Castilla y León – have not be been allowed to commence stage 1 and must wait till their indicators improve.
25th May 2020 – Stage 2
Restaurants will be allowed to open their indoor areas – with a limit of the usual capacity and the corresponding safety distance. Cinemas, museums, auditoriums, theatres, exhibition halls, conference rooms and similar premises may reopen, also with a limited capacity of one third and with allocated seats. Cultural events may be held indoors with up to 50 people and outdoors with up to 400 people.
The cities and region which were still in stage 0 have now all progressed to stage 1.
8th June 2020 – Stage 3
General mobility is further loosened up and the capacity of commercial activity (retail trade) is increased to 50%. Beaches will reopen.
As of the 21st of May there is a new regulation concerning the use of facemasks – these are obligatory for all persons over the age of 6 in enclosed public spaces and outdoors if a distance of 2m cannot be kept.
And the best news came on the 23rd of May when the President of the Spanish Government announced that the country would be reopening to “foreign tourism in conditions of safety. Spain needs tourism and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not turn any risks, nor will they bring any risk to our country”.