Exactly what freedom can residents in Andalucia’s Malaga, Costa del Sol & Granada enjoy now that they qualify for Spain’s Phase 1 of de-escalation on May 18?

Residents across Spain can finally can finally enjoy a drink or meal in bars/restaurant in terraces in Phase 1 of deescalation.

SPAIN’S Ministry of Health announced that Malaga and Granada finally qualify to Phase 1 of de-escalation on Monday May 18, and they join the other six provinces in Andalucia that were allowed to move to Phase 1 a week ago on Monday May 11.

Valencia was also given the go-ahead for the whole of its territory too. However, Madrid and Barcelona were denied access to Phase 1 today, but the government did meet the two cities “half way,” by relaxing some restrictions (as reported).

So exactly what new-found freedom can citizens and businesses enjoy under Phase 1 of de-escalation in Spain? Basically, citizens will have a few more restrictions lifted which include visiting family and friends at home/outdoors, shopping without an appointment, and enjoying a drink or meal in bar/cafe/restaurant terraces. Here’s exactly how restrictions will be lifted:


  • 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, and stay in hotels.
  • 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 for 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 must be respected, and groups of customers cannot exceed 10 people.
  • 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 your 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 also open at 30 per cent capacity. Attendees must wear masks and avoid the exchange of any objects to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Funerals are allowed, with the number of relatives limited to 15 in open-air spaces, and 10 in closed areas.
  • Museums may also 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 whose parents need childcare support due to work commitments.
  • Universities will reopen to be disinfected and prepared for the eventual return of students next term.
  • Libraries can reopen, with no activities. Objects lent to library members 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.
  • All businesses allowed to open in Phase 0 can open in Phase 1, including vehicle dealerships, ITV (MOT) inspection centres and garden centres.
  • Hotels can reopen with no limit on rooms, but there will be restrictions on the use of common areas such as restaurants.
  • Open-air street markets can also open if permitted by local councils, with restrictions on the distance between stands (limited to 25 per cent of stand capacity), while the customers are 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 distance will have to be respected between customers. A preferential timetable for the over-65s must also be established.
  • Businesses will have to provide hand sanitiser gels and disinfectants to 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 capacity. Indoor dining areas, must remain closed.
  • Restaurants and bars will need to prioritise single-use tablecloths. If fabric tablecloths are used they must be washed at high temperatures before being 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 use protective masks and other personal protective equipment when this is not possible.
  • Workers who need a uniform or other safety material must wash them daily at high temperatures.


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Written by

Pepi Sappal

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