Spain has moved to ease lockdown, but over the huge geographical territory all is not moving at the same pace, writes Amanda Darling from Andalusia
Each area is being dealt with differently according specific epidemiological criteria. Premier Pedro Sanchez says the plan will be in four phases, gradual, flexible and adaptive. It will take place over eight weeks until the end of June. The government voted to extend the “State of Alarm” until the 7th of June.
Each region will need to carry out PCR tests on all suspected cases, as well as isolating and testing all their contacts.
Madrid is the area hit worst by the virus and requested to be moved to phase 1 from Monday 11th May and again on18th May, but this was refused.
Andalusia has eight provinces, and only six moved out of phase one on Monday 25th May. Malaga and Granada remained in phase 1. The guidelines are that each phase should last two weeks.
Social distancing discipline for Spanish beaches
Phase 0 started on Monday 5th May. Phase 1 began on 11th May, phase 2 started on Monday 25th May. Andalusia remains in phase 1. This means that there are time slots according to age for exercise, bars can open on their terraces at a 50% capacity, with strict disinfecting between customers.
People not considered to be vulnerable or in a risk group are allowed to meet in group of up to ten with social distancing observed, outside. Businesses with premises of under 400m can open by appointment dealing with customers on a one-to-one basis.
Hotels are open for overnight stays but no communal areas are open yet. Outdoor markets are allowed to be held at 25% of the usual number of stand to allow for social distancing and only 30% capacity of customers.
Burials are limited to only 15 mourners in attendance. People are allowed to move more freely within each province.
Phase 3 is expected to start as of 10th June with the “new normality” from 25th June. It has become mandatory to wear a mask at all times when in public.
Spain is to remove the quarantine restrictions on foreign tourists as of July.
Here in our mountain Finca, we are getting on with our gardening, growing vegetables, avocados and fruit. I have taken the opportunity to completely redecorate our holiday home. All bookings were cancelled, but we did get a Spanish booking for September but I cancelled it as we have decided to proceed with caution and simply forget 2020 as a business venture.
Some family have booked to come out in July and I look forward to reuniting with them but still remain apprehensive. The virus has not disappeared and with an influx of tourists there may well be a rise in the number of cases once again. We are living quietly and not going out to bars or restaurants yet despite the easing of restrictions. However we are very lucky to have a large garden with many areas to go to. We count our blessings.