UK expats in Costa Blanca, Costa Almeria and Mallorca unsure of exercise times and private car use under Spain’s lockdown de-escalation first phase

FLEXIBILITY: Regional governments will be allowed to modify time slots for walks and exercise to take into account factors like the weathe CREDIT: Brad Swift Facebook

AS UK expats in the Costa Almeria, Mallorca and parts of the Costa Blanca look forward to greater freedom of movement from Monday when their areas move into the first phase of the lockdown de-escalation, there is a certain confusion over exercise times and on private vehicle use.

Comments on local forums reveal some people are unsure whether the timetable according to age for an hour’s walk, run, cycle or similar in the open air will be different, when for example it will be possible to sit and have coffee on a cafe terrace at any time the establishment is open.

In fact the walk and exercise time slots remain the same unless regional governments decide to make changes.

Under phase one the regional administrations have the flexibility of moving the slots forward or backwards by a couple of hours to take into account factors like the weather in each zone, keeping the total time period allocated to each age group for going out the same.

So unless there are modifications, for adults this means from 6am to 10am and from 8pm to 11pm. The designated time for outings with children is from 12pm to 7pm. Over-70’s and people who need to go out with a carer have from 10am to 12pm and 7-8pm.

The use of private vehicles under the easing of lockdown restrictions is another issue prompting questions on expat forums.

Phase one means people who do not share a property can travel together. In an ordinary car two people who do not live in the same home are allowed to sit side-by-side, but no more than two seats in a row can be occupied.

People must keep their distance between each other and wear face masks.

The limitation does not apply for people who share the same home though. In this case the limitation is the vehicle’s maximum legal capacity.

The other issue on vehicle use is where it is permitted to go. While under Phase zero people can only drive for essential reasons, like going to shopping for basics or to go to work, under the Phase one regulations significantly greater vehicle use is allowed.

Staying within their own provinces, island or heath district authorised to enter into the first phase, people can drive to places of worship, to funerals, to hotels and holiday accommodation, to open-air markets, and, the government confirmed on Saturday, to second homes.

And people can drive to bars, cafes and restaurants.

Phase one means people can enjoy having something to eat or drink on a terrace, in groups of no more than 10, but practising social distancing. There is also the issue of space on the terraces, as no more than 50 per cent of tables can be occupied.

Also allowed is visiting loved ones, again with gatherings of no more than 10.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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