Business Owners in Barcelona Spain excited to hear they may be in Phase 1 by next week

All may not be lost for the summer tourist season in Barcelona as the Catalan Department of Health propose that, from next Monday, Barcelona moves to Phase 1 of the lockdown de-escalation plan.

THE government has also asked the Spanish executive to move the health regions of Tarragona (Camp de Tarragona), Ebre (Terres de l’Ebre) and the western Pyrenees (Alt Pirineu i Aran) to Phase 2 on the same day.

The health authorities sent the Spanish government their new proposal yesterday for loosening the lockdown, following meetings between the Catalan health minister Alba Vergés and the various mayors of the Barcelona metropolitan area. If allowed, it would mean there is hope left to recapture some of the lost revenue from this year’s tourist season. Below are the rules regarding Phase 1 of the lockdown.

Activities allowed in Phase 1

During Phase 1, the outside seating areas of bars and restaurants are allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity (modified from the original 30 per cent). Local councils have the power to grant more space to terraces than normal under their discretion.

No more than 10 people are able to sit at the same table in such terraces, and toilets of bars and restaurants have to be disinfected at least six times per day.

Self-service elements are not allowed in bars and restaurants, and menus are not recommended; signs or boards should be used.

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Hotels and tourist accommodation can open during Phase 1 at their maximum capacity, that is, all of their rooms, but with hygiene and safety measures in place and with communal areas remaining closed.

People are able to leave their town and travel throughout the health region, but not go to another region (unless for health or work reasons). Travelling to second homes is allowed if it is in the same region, after Spain’s president, Pedro Sánchez, contradicted the BOE soon after the detailed rules were published.

Set time slots for exercise or going for a walk are still in force in municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants, due to increase to 10,000 in the coming days, as announced on Sunday.

Cultural shows and events can take place with audiences of less than 30 indoors (at one third capacity) and 200 outdoors (maintaining a suitable distance between people).

Reading rooms in libraries can open in Phase 1, with limited capacity.

Social services offices are allowed to open.

This stage also allows for socialising in small groups of up to 10 people among healthy people with no underlying conditions.

Individual sporting activities by appointment in sports centres such as gyms is also permitted, as long as it does not involve physical contact or the use of changing rooms. Outdoor sports facilities can be used, but only for playing sports in which there is no contact (eg athletics, tennis). Recreational fishing and hunting is permitted.

Under Phase 1, the limitation of travelling by private vehicle is two people per row, except for people who live under the same roof, who could travel together with no limit.

This phase also allows two people travelling by motorbike together without masks if they live together. If they don’t, they can still travel together, but with the obligatory use of masks or full-face helmets.

Taxis, sitting in the front passenger seat is still not allowed, and as for the rest of the seats, they can be full if occupants live under the same roof; otherwise, it’s two per row.

Schools and universities can open for administrative tasks, with congresses and scientific seminars of up to 30 people allowed – students are not able to return to classrooms.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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