What parts of Spain will move to Phase 1 of de-escalation on May 11 & exactly what does it mean for residents from Costa Blanca to Costa del Sol? Read on…

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Spain’s Ministry of Health recently announced the provinces and health districts that will move to Phase 1, which will benefit 51 per cent of the population, as reported.

ALL the provinces in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, País Vasco, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón, Extremadura, Murcia, Canarias, Baleares, Ceuta and Melilla have received the go ahead to move to Phase 1 of de-escalation. In Castilla-La Mancha only the provinces of Guadalajara and Cuenca can move to Phase 1. Six provinces of Andalucia can also move to Phase 1 (except for Malaga and Granada). The 10 health districts of Valencia, three of Catalonia’s regions, as well as around 26 smaller rural areas of Castilla and León can also move to Phase 1 (Check out the full list below).

Those provinces moving to Phase 1, will enjoy more freedoms, which include visiting family and friends, shopping without an appointment, and enjoying a drink or meal in bar/restaurant terraces. Here’s exactly how restrictions will be eased:


  • Meetings of up to 10 people are permitted, both outside and in private homes.
  • Citizens can now travel within a province, island or healthcare area that has entered Phase 1, for example to visit elderly relatives.
  • Timetables for outdoor leisure will still be in place, but each region has powers to adjust hours to suit their needs.
  • You can meet friends/family drink at bars, restaurants and cafes provided only 50 per cent of space on terraces is occupied. A minimum distance of two metres between tables is a must, and groups of customers cannot exceed 10.
  • Citizens can take walks in natural parks and natural areas.
  • Citizens can travel to a second residence, provided it is located in the same province as their primary residence.
  • Citizens can also travel to hotels and tourist accommodation in your own province, with restrictions on the use of common areas such as dining rooms.


  • Places of worship may open at 30 per cent capacity, and attendees must wear masks and avoid the exchange of any objects to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Funerals are allowed and the number of relatives will be limited to 15 in open-air spaces, and 10 in closed areas.
  • Museums may open  open at a third of capacity.
  • Cultural events involving under 30 people can be held indoors at a third of capacity, and outdoor cultural events can entertain up to 200 people (seated).


  • Some schools will be able to open, primarily for younger students for working parents needing childcare support.
  • Universities will reopen to be disinfected and prepared for the eventual return of students.
  • Libraries can reopen, with no activities, and any objects lent to members of the library must be quarantined for two weeks.
  • Sports centres can reopen, although athletes can only be accompanied by a coach, unless it’s a minor or a vulnerable person/with a disability. Installations must be disinfected after each event.
  • Open-air sports facilities can restart activity through appointments.


  • Premises measuring under 400 square metres will be permitted to open, as is the case under Phase 0, apart from those premises located in parks or shopping centres with no direct access from outside.
  • Car/Vehicle dealerships.
  • ITV (MOT) inspection centres.
  • Garden centres.
  • Hotels can reopen with restrictions imposed on the use of common areas such as restaurants.
  • Open-air street markets, if permitted by local councils, with restrictions on the distance between stands. Stands must be limited to 25 per cent, while the customers must be limited to a third of usual capacity.


  • Stores will be able to allow customers up to 30 per cent of their usual capacity, and a two-metre safe distance must be observed between customers.
  • A preferential timetable for the over-65’s must be established.
  • Businesses will have to provide hand sanitiser gels/disinfectant for customers.
  • All establishments open to the public will have to disinfect their premises twice a day.


  • Establishments will only be able to open terraces/outdoor areas to 50 per cent of capacity. Indoor dining areas, must remain closed.
  • Restaurants and bars will need to prioritise single-use tablecloths. Fabric tablecloths will have to be washed at high temperatures before used again.
  • Businesses will have to provide hand sanitiser gels to customers, and single service items should replace serviette dispensers, oil and vinegar bottles, etc.


  • People currently working from home are recommended to continue to do so, if possible. Workplaces that reopen must ensure social distancing of two metres is maintained between employees and protective masks and other personal protective equipment is used when this is not possible.
  • Workers who need a uniform or other safety material must wash them daily at high temperatures.


  • Andalucía: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Huelva, Jaén and Sevilla.
  • Aragón: Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza.
  • Asturias: All provinces.
  • Baleares: Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca. Formentera is already in Phase 1 (since Monday May 4).
  • Canarias: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura y La Palma. La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa are already in Phase 1 (since Monday May 4).
  • Cantabria: All provinces.
  • Castilla and León: The Health distructs of Muñico (Ávila), Sedano (Burgos), Valle de Losa (Burgos), Truchas (León), Matallana de Torio (León), Riaño (León), Torquemada (Palencia), Robleda (Salamanca), Alaejos (Valladolid), Mayorga de Campos (Valladolid), Alta Sanabria (Zamora), Carbajales de Alba (Zamora), Tábara (Zamora), Quintanar de la Sierra (Burgos), Espinosa de los Monteros (Burgos), Pampliega (Burgos), Valle de Mena (Burgos), Aldeadavila de la Ribera (Salamanca), Lumbrales (Salamanca), Miranda del Castañar (salamanca), San Pedro Manrique (Soria), Esguevillas de Esgueva (Valladolid), Santibañez de Vidriales (Zamora), Alcañices (Zamora), Corrales del Vino (Zamora) and Villalpando (Zamora).
  • Castilla La Mancha: Guadalajara and Cuenca.
  • Catalunia: Health districts of Terres de l’Ebre (Tarragona), Camp de Tarragona (Tarragona) and Alt Pirineu-Aran (Lleida).
  • Ceuta: All provinces.
  • Extremadura: Cáceres and Badajoz.
  • Galicia: A Coruña, Lugo, Orense and Pontevedra.
  • La Rioja: All provinces.
  • Melilla: All provinces.
  • Murcia: All provinces.
  • Navarra: All provinces.
  • Basque Country: Álava, Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa.
  • Valencia: Health districts of Vinaròs (Castellón), Requena (Valencia), Xàtiva-Ontinyent (Valencia), Gandia (Valencia), Alcoy (Alicante), Dénia (Alicante), La Marina Baixa (Alicante), Elda (Alicante), Orihuela (Alicante) and Torrevieja (Alicante).


However, for now Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Granada, among others have been denied permission to move to Phase 1 of de-escalation because they haven’t yet met the government’s Covid-19 health markers. For now its citizens and businesses will have to continue to respect the rules restricted to Phase 0, which means that no bars/restaurants can open their doors to the public yet. Businesses that have been allowed to open in Phase 0, must also continue to serve by ‘appointment only.’



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Written by

Pepi Sappal

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