The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez detailed a four phase de-escalation plan at a press conference on Tuesday 28th of April.
“The ‘Plan for the Transition Toward a New Normality,’ on which we have been working for nearly a month, was today approved by the Cabinet,” said Sánchez, continuing, “We have taken into account the lessons from other places, but adapting them to the diversity and the reality of our country. The only objective of this de-escalation plan is to activate Spain protecting the health and lives of Spaniards.”
All regions that meet preconditions will advance to phase 1 on the 11th May.
Thereafter there will be at least a two week period before proceeding to the next phase. No guarantees or dates have been set – we have shown the earliest possible date for each phase
Phase 0 – Preparation – May 4th
Preparing for the de-escalation and the opening of more businesses that can take bookings, e.g. restaurants that offer delivery and take away, also hardware shops and other similar retail locations that could take advance orders and limit customers to one at a time.
Phase 1 – Small Businesses and Hotels – May 11th
Regions can opt for the partial re-opening of small businesses with strict safety controls, but not large shopping centres or other businesses where crowds could form.
The prime Minister surprised many by including the re-opening of hotels and tourist apartments in Phase 1 – though this would be the room service only, not common areas such as bars and restaurants, terraces and lounges.
Restaurants and cafes will be able to open their outside uncovered terraces, but no indoor service will be permitted.
Phase 1 will include a special timetable for the over 65s to shop, and use of masks on public transport will be “highly recommended”.
Churches will be able to open in phase 1, with a limit of 30% of their capacity.
Travel within your own region will be allowed – but not further afield.
Phase 2 – Restaurants and Small Events – May 25th at the very earliest
In Phase 2 restaurants, hotels and cafes will be able to open their dining areas.
Also schools will open to facilitate working parents of young children (under 6) and older children to complete their exams and university applications.
Events will start to be allowed in phase 2. Indoor events will be allowed of up to 50 people, and up to 400 people for outdoor events – though these will only be allowed for seated audiences.
Cinemas will open with a 30% of capacity limitation.
Phase 3 – Advanced – June 8th at the very earliest
Homeworking can start to cease in Phase 3. Little further detail was given on Phase 3 however the Prime minister said that “By the end of June, as a country we will be in the new normality if the evolution of the epidemic is under control in all territories,”
Inter-Regional Restrictions & State of Alarm
Movement between provinces will be prohibited in order to prevent spread of the virus between areas that are at different phases of de-escalation. There was no specific mention as to how this would affect inter-island mobility within the Balearics (for example between Formentera and Ibiza as these two islands may be at different phases of the de-escalation), but it appears clear we will not be permitted to travel to the mainland during the de-escalation, except for those circumstances where it would also be currently permitted.
Sánchez also explained that another two-week extension to the state of alarm that was implemented on March 14 would be requested in Congress. The current period is due to expire on May 9. The extended state of alarm would be to the 23rd may.
Ibiza & Formentera
Though the mention of Hotels opening will be seen as a positive by some, it has to be stressed that this in no way demonstrates any ability of tourists to travel to Ibiza, as international and regional borders will still be closed during phase 1 and 2 at least.
Also, pre-empting some requests for clarification of our tourist centred island, there was no specific mention of bars, clubs, beaches or marine activities.
It is not known whether travel between Ibiza and Formentera will be allowed. According to the government guidelines travel within the same region WILL be allowed in phase 1, however countering this there are also guidelines stating that travel will be restricted between regions as they may be at different phases – and from phase one Formentera may be ahead of ibiza.