Spain’s Government Releases an Official Draft on How It Hopes To Open Bars, Campsites and Spas as Businesses in Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca Grow Impatient

Credit: The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism is working on various protocols regarding the measures which will be applied in order to reopen catered establishments, ‘campsites’ and spas.

THE Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism already has already begun to draft the measures which must be taken in order to reopen bars and restaurants across the nation. The report recommends carrying out tests on employees, acquiring disposable protective equipment and marking the ground to maintain safety distances, advice that is further developed over 25 pages and is subject to ‘guidelines issued by the health authorities.’

In Phase 0, hotel and restaurant establishments may open for home delivery service and customers may go to pick up their orders, but restrictions will begin to relax as the ‘new normality’ approaches.

In preparation for this gradual reopening, a ‘technical committee’ formed by the Institute of Spanish Tourist Quality has developed a plan for the Ministry of Industry. This report that is dated May 2020 and addresses which protocols should be followed in order to open.

To see a full version of the draft in Spanish there is a link attached at the end of the article.

‘The Secretary of State for Tourism has agreed with autonomous communities the need to coordinate a single sanitary protocol against Covid-19 to prepare for the reopening of the tourism sector as containment measures are softened,’ notes the draft. ‘This document meets requirements and recommendations […] and is applicable to restoration services regardless of their typology, category or size.’

The report is divided into three sections: risk management requirements, service requirements, and cleaning and management requirements. In the first section, it establishes that bars and restaurants must create a group in charge of ‘decision-making,’ a committee that will address the possible use of ‘personal protective equipment (PPE)’ for the staff and start a ‘protocol of action to follow in the event that an employee or client starts to show symptoms.’

Regarding the protective material, the draft talks about the use of disposable gloves, masks and PPE, but at the same time it points out that the establishments must take into account ‘the restrictions that could exist for the supply of these products’ and, in such case they should assess ‘other possibilities other than those initially proposed.’ The draft also asks, ‘to complete the kit with a thermometer’ and recommends that employees be tested, an issue that depends on the ‘sanitary criteria established by the authorities.’

Risk Management Requirements

This first section includes an array of tips for ‘personal protection’: wear your hair up, wear short and manicured nails, wear clean work clothes on a daily basis, do not wear rings, bracelets, earrings etc.

It also includes an ambiguous sentence about the use of protective material which claims masks should be used in case that the ‘specific procedure of the job and risk assessment’ determines it is needed and in the case that ‘social distancing cannot be respected.’

To minimise the risk of infection, the report also advocates that employees always take the same shifts and are provided with a space in which they can ‘change clothes and shoes,’ suggesting that they should have a new control over uniforms: ‘It is recommended that the establishment be responsible for washing the work clothes of the staff together with the table linen itself, and this must be cleaned at a temperature higher than 60 degrees Celsius.’

Service Requirements

Under this section the report states a series of measures which must be met in order to reopen the establishment, amongst them: a controlled capacity of the premises (specific figures are not given), hydroalcoholic gel in accessible areas, card payment should be encouraged, a periodic disinfection of facilities, a periodic ventilation of facilities, prioritise the use of single-use table cloths, and the elimination of self-service products such as napkin rings, toothpicks etc.

The draft also considers the need to mark ‘the floor of the premises, terraces and bar’ in order to ensure a safety distance is being held at all times, even in the kitchen itself, where ‘it is recommended to separate the zones of different workers by marks.’

Safety distances are outlined in three different scenarios:

  • Maximum distance between people/groups of people: at least one metre (when groups attend the establishment together, it will be understood that safety distances do not apply to members of the same group)
  • Minimum distance between tables: at least 1.5 metres
  • Minimum distance between high tables: at least one metre

The report also includes a small section about the preparation and delivery of home service food.

It states that ‘food will be placed in closed bags, preferably sealed. The bag used for delivery will be cleaned disinfected internally and externally after each delivery.’

‘The personnel in charge of the delivery of orders must use the personal protective equipment … If this service is provided through digital platforms, the restaurant will be the one to supervise it’ says the draft, which also points out that the ‘riders’ must not use the lifts in the residences to deliver food.

When touching upon bar service, the draft is once again rather ambiguous about the use of protective material: ‘The safety distance between client and staff must be respected, if not the use of face masks or shields should be used.’

Cleaning and Management Requirements

This section goes into depth about having a cleaning routine for disinfecting any potential risk factors and should consider, the bar, the kitchen, the delivery area for stock, changing rooms etc.

It also talks about washing cutlery and plates at a high temperature (above 80 degrees Celsius) and cleaning any transport vehicles.

It also leaves provides minimal guidance for the functioning of terraces and says: ‘The business must establish a way of controlling the customers so that they do not make arbitrary use of tables and chairs on the premises as these must be disinfected from one customer to another.’

The report finally closes with recommendations about protective material: ‘In general the recommendation is to use disposable PPE, if this is not possible then they should be disinfected after use.’

Regarding masks: ‘As a general rule, it is not necessary to use masks in an environment where there is no evidence of a person or surface which is infected by SARS-CoV-2, nor if there is no presence of people within a metre distance.’


In the case of spas, the draft again recommends testing employees and providing ‘adequate PPE’ but also includes taking their temperature with ‘a non-contact thermometer.’

Regarding the protection material, again it is dependent safety distances: ‘Use a mask in cases where the specific procedure of the workplace and risk assessment so determine and provided that social distance cannot be respected.’

The use of safety distances is repeated in this section as well as ‘distance markers when necessary to avoid crowds.’

Also recommended is the use of ‘non-manually operated taps (by pedal or sensors) and avoiding hand towels, even those of individual use.’

The dry area of the spa will have to be ‘at a temperature between 23 and 26ºC,’ and in the wet area ‘the guidelines and recommendations to be applied will be determined according to the results of the requested scientific report on the behaviour of Covid-19 in swimming pool water both outdoor and indoor.’


Regarding the ‘campsites’ protocols, the ministry repeats most of the advice but includes communication with tourists: ‘The establishment will send the client a reservation, prior to their arrival attached with the regulations and guidelines adopted’ the draft explains.

‘In the case of clients arriving without reservations, an informative document will be delivered on the prevention of Covid-19, as well as on the sanitary measures adopted by the campsite upon arrival at the establishment.’

In this section, the ministry contemplates the arrival of tourists from other countries, for which it points out that the information ‘must be in at least one foreign language.’

The protective material, however, is once again dependent on safety distances: ‘The animation activities must be designed and planned in such a way that they for the minimum safety distance between people to be respected. Otherwise, you should wear a mask.’

A pdf version of the draft in Spanish is available here. 

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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