Full details of Spains four phases to lift lockdown restrictions – plus each regions current status
As all regions of Spain have now sent their proposals to the central government to determine how and if they can move to Phase One of the de-escalation plan from Monday 11 May, this report now also includes updates on the phase status for each region.
As there is a great deal of on-going information, the report is divided into four sections:
- Four Phase plan – introduction
- The phase status for each region
- Rules and measures for each phase
- Lockdown in Spain to date
1. Four Phase plan – introduction
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced his governments Plan for the Transition towards a new normality following the Coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday 28 April. It is to take place over four phases.
The prime minister said the plan to relax the restrictions would be gradual, flexible and adaptive. The de-escalation to a new normality officially started on Monday 4 May and will last eight weeks, until the end of June.
In the best-case scenario, this de-escalation phase will take a minimum of six weeks and the maximum duration we want to see is eight weeks for the whole of Spain, said Sánchez. By the end of June, we as a country will have entered into the new normality if the epidemic remains under control.
On Wednesday 6 May, the Spanish Congress also voted to extend the state of alarm lockdown in Spain until 24 May. The lockdown will continue whilst the country also continues with the four phase de-escalation plan of gradually lifting lockdown restrictions.
It is now the fourth extension of the lockdown that first started on 14 March (see Lockdown in Spain to date below).
It is expected that further measures to gradually lift restrictions will be proposed over the coming days in addition to those currently listed below for all phases, depending on each region of Spain.
The four phase plan does not contain exact dates for the reopening of businesses, bars, hotels and restaurants. The de-escalation measures also depend on the on-going progress across the different regions of Spain to combat Coronavirus.
Each region of Spain needs to meet specific epidemiological criteria and the lifting of restrictions will also depend on the ability to maintain sufficient capacity in intensive care unit facilities, in case there is a sudden increase of infections again.
Each region must have the availability or capacity to install between 1.5 and 2 intensive care beds and between 37 and 49 beds for every 10,000 inhabitants within a five-day period.
Each region also needs to have the ability to carry out PCR tests on all suspected cases, and then isolating them and testing all of their contacts.
The governments plan is that each phase of the de-escalation will last for two weeks – yet starting with Phase Zero that will last for a minimum of one week.
Phase Zero started on Monday 4 May. Phase One will start from Monday 11 May. Phases Two and Three will then commence approximately at two week intervals thereafter, depending on the progress for each region. The new normality is expected from 25 June.
Schools will not reopen until September – but there could be additional learning support provided beforehand.
The central government in Madrid, in coordination with the regions, will have the final decision on when each of Spains regions and provinces can move towards each next phase. It means that the regions of Spain will move at different speeds.
Each region of Spain sent a proposal to the central health ministry this week in order to determine whether it should move to Phase One on Monday 11 May, and under what conditions (see below for details per region).
The Health Ministry will study the applications and try to reach a timetable agreement with each region, although the ministry will have the final say. The same process will take place for later moving to Phase Two or Three.
In section 3 below, we summarise the main measures that will be relaxed across Spain during each phase, subject to how each region or province manages with its progress in containing any further spread of Coronavirus. We are updating this information as soon as any new measures are officially announced.
Please note: at the moment, more official relaxing of restrictions to allow further passengers in private cars and other non-freight vehicles will come into effect from Monday 11 May, during Phase One (see below), and depending if the region has moved to that phase.
Important: the general rule for driving stipulated at the start of the state of alarm lockdown on 14 March was that only one person (the driver) could travel to buy essential products such as food, medicine or petrol. It seems this measure was interpreted differently across different regions – with some relaxing by the authorities to allow another passenger in the private vehicle if for essential reasons (to help care for an elderly or vulnerable person, for example).
At Spain in English we understand this to still be the rule during this current Phase Zero. Where a second passenger is allowed, and if that passenger does not live in the same household as the driver, then they must wear a face mask. The restrictions for private vehicles change further for Phase One (see below).
2. The Phase Status for each Region
Here we give details of the phase status for each region, as well as updates as to when that region might move from one phase to the next. We also include the Coronavirus data for each region that we publish separately in our daily reports.
Please note: Spain has 17 Autonomous Communities (regions), each with its own regional government. These regions are divided into provinces (although some regions are one province only regions). Each province is further divided into municipalities, each with its own local council.
If the government states that citizens can only move within their province during the further relaxing of restrictions during Phase One (see below), it means between the municipalities of that province and not across the whole region.
The exact timing of the lifting of restrictions could also differ not only within each region or province, but also for each city or town. Readers should check with their local authorities for further information on what is permitted and when, as the enforcement of measures might differ from one municipality to the next.
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Latest Phase Status for each Region
All of Spains regions have now sent their proposals for the next phase of the de-escalation plan to the central Health Ministry.
Most regions have requested to now move from Phase Zero to Phase One, effective from Monday 11 May. The Health Ministry will have the final say on each region and it is expected to announce the decisions on Friday or Saturday.
The Spanish government initially set out plans for the de-escalation of restrictions to be carried out by province. However, Catalonia and Castilla y León have proposed that it should be done by healthcare zones. The Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has said he is willing to also study these options.
All data for Coronavirus infections and deaths below is taken from the Spanish Health Ministrys official figures released on 7 May.
Madrid is a one province region. It is the region that has been hit the worst by the Coronavirus pandemic. Latest figures released show that there are 63,870 confirmed cases in the Madrid region (86 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 8,504 people have died.
The latest update is that Madrid has requested to move to Phase One for the whole region. The decision, however, has been controversial and already provoked the resignation of the director of public health for the Comunidad de Madrid regional government, Yolanda Fuentes. [We will update further on this in our news reports].
The regional government in Madrid is governed by the right-wing Peoples Party (PP) with the Ciudadanos (Cs) party. The regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP), had doubts about moving to Phase One, yet vice-president Ignacio Aguado (Cs) insisted that the region was ready. Madrids proposal includes making the wearing of face masks compulsory in closed spaces.
Meanwhile Madrid City Council has announced that several small parks in the capital will reopen on Friday 8 May to provide more space for when people are allowed to go for walks and take exercise.
A total of 170 parks are reopening. The Casa de Campo, El Retiro park and Madrid Río will remain closed.
Catalonia has four provinces – Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Latest figures released show that Catalonia has 51,190 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (266 new cases in past 24hrs) and where 5,394 people have died.
The Catalan government has wanted to base the decision to move to the next phase not by province but by healthcare zone.
Alba Vergés, responsible for the Catalan health department, said earlier in the week that not all areas of Catalonia would necessarily move through the four phases of the de-escalation plan at the same time.
It has chosen to keep Barcelona, Girona and parts of Lleida in Phase Zero for now. It has instead suggested that three areas move to Phase One on Monday. These include the province of Tarragona and part of Lleida (Terres de lEbre, Camp de Tarragona and Alt Pirineu i Aran), which are at low risk of an outbreak.
There are nine healthcare zones in Catalonia. At Spain in English, we understand that only those with an asterisk* have been proposed to move to Phase One on Monday 11 May:
*Alt Pirineu i Aran in the western Pyrenees, including the Aran Valley.
*Lleida in the western part of Catalonia.
*Camp de Tarragona in the south, but not including the Ebre region.
*Terres de lEbre: in the southernmost part of Catalonia.
Central Catalonia: including the Igualada area, where the biggest cluster of Covid-19 was identified.
Girona: in the northeast, including towns in the Alt Maresme area, such as Calella.
Barcelona: the Catalan capital.
Metro area (north): remaining towns of Maresme county, the two Vallès counties and the cities of Badalona, Sant Adrià de Besòs and Santa Coloma de Gramenet.
Metro area (south): LHospitalet de Llobregat, as well as Alt Penedès, Baix Llobregat and Garraf.
Whilst Barcelona remains in Phase Zero, Barcelona City Council has reopened its beaches to the public from Friday morning.
People are only allowed to walk and practise individual sports – and only during the morning permitted exercise hours, between 6-10 am.
The beaches are reserved for accredited professional athletes during the evening exercise time slots of 8-11 pm. No lifeguards are working, and nor are there any showers or changing rooms available.
The Basque Country has three provinces – Álava, Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa. Latest figures show there are 13,041 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Basque Country (33 new cases in past 24hrs) and where 1,383 people have died.
Health authorities there have said the whole region meets all requirements to enter Phase One on Monday.
Andalusia has eight provinces – Sevilla, Córdoba, Jaén, Granada, Huelva, Almeria, Cádiz and Malaga. Latest figures show there are 12,268 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Andalusia (32 new cases in past 24hrs) and where 1,294 people have died.
Andalusia has proposed that all of its provinces move to Phase One, with certain extra requirements for three specific healthcare districts. The regional president has also asked that swimming and sunbathing on the beaches of Andalusia should be allowed from 25 May during Phase Two, instead of in Phase Three, as proposed from the Madrid central government.
Valencia region has three provinces – Valencia, Castellón and Alicante. Latest figures show that there are 10,592 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Valencia region (55 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 1,303 people have died.
Valencia has proposed that the entire region move to Phase One on Monday 11 May. It has also requested modifications in the timetable for when people can go out to take exercise, due to the warmer weather.
Galicia has four provinces – Lugo, La Coruña, Ourense and Pontevedra. Latest figures show that there have been 9,134 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Galicia (37 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 586 people have died.
Galicia has proposed for the whole region to move to Phase One on Monday.
Castilla y León
Castilla y León has nine provinces – León, Burgos, Salamanca, Zamora, Soria, Valladolid, Palencia, Ávila and Segovia. Latest figures show that there have been 17,625 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Castilla y León (105 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 1,864 people have died.
Castilla y León has also proposed that the decision to move to Phase One should be decided by healthcare zones. The last news was that only 26 of its 247 healthcare zones meet the requirements to move to the next phase. [We will update with further details when we have them].
Castilla La Mancha
Castilla La Mancha has five provinces – Guadalajara, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Toledo and Albacete. Latest figures show that there have been 16,184 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Castilla La Mancha (40 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 2,677 people have died.
Castilla-La Mancha has proposed that the entire region moves to Phase One on Monday. They have also proposed changes in the timetable for walks due to the weather.
Canary Islands has two provinces – Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Latest figures show 2,235 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Canary Islands (4 new cases in past 24hrs),and where 144 people have died.
The islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa in the Canary Islands, are already in Phase One.
The Canary Islands government has asked for the entire region to move to Phase One on Monday.
Murcia is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 1,501 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Murcia (3 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 137 people have died.
Murcia has requested the entire region move to Phase One on Monday. It has also asked for a change to the timetable for when children take walks, due to the weather.
Aragón has three provinces – Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel. Latest figures show there are 5,258 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Aragón (27 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 800 people have died.
Aragón has requested that the entire region move to Phase One on Monday.
Balearic Islands is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 1,929 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Balearic Islands (8 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 201 people have died.
The island of Formentera in the Balearic Islands is already in Phase One.
The regional government has now proposed that Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca all move to Phase One on Monday.
Extremadura has two provinces – Badajoz and Cáceres. Latest figures show there are 2,877 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Extremadura (12 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 467 people have died.
Extremadura has requested that the whole region moves to Phase One on Monday.
Asturias is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 2,326 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Asturias (16 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 292 people have died.
Asturias has requested that the whole region moves to Phase One on Monday, with a further rural area moving on directly to Phase Two.
Navarra is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 4,983 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Navarra (17 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 480 people have died.
Navarra has proposed that the whole region moves to Phase One on Monday.
Cantabria is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 2,220 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Cantabria (7 new cases in past 24hrs) and where 200 people have died.
Cantabria has proposed that the whole region moves to Phase One on Monday.
La Rioja is a one province region. Latest figures show there are 3,986 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in La Rioja (6 new cases in past 24hrs), and where 338 people have died.
Cantabria has proposed that the whole region moves to Phase One on Monday.
Ceuta and Melilla
The cities of Ceuta and Melilla located in North Africa are also both one province regions. Latest figures show there are 109 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ceuta (no new cases in past 24hrs), and where 4 people have died. Melilla has 119 confirmed cases (no new cases in past 24hrs), and where 2 people have died.
Both cities have proposed to move to Phase One on Monday. They have also have called for connections with the Iberian peninsula to remain closed.
2. The rules, regulations and measures for each phase
Phase Zero – started Monday 4 May
Phase Zero is the preparation phase for the de-escalation – and is currently underway. It included allowing children out for daily walks and exercise from Sunday 26 April. It also included adults being allowed out for daily walks and exercise from Saturday 2 May.
There are set time slots for when people can leave their homes in towns with over 5,000 residents. Full details of when adults are allowed to take walks and exercise are published in Spains Boletín Oficial de Estado (BOE). Please also see further below.
New measures during Phase Zero
Face masks & public transport
New measures have been introduced by the Spanish government for this Phase Zero and also published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE).
From Monday 4 May, it became compulsory to wear face masks on all public transport in Spain. The Spanish government has stated that it plans to hand out 14m face masks at major transport hubs during this week.
On public transport where all passengers have to be seated, no more than half of the seats should be occupied. On buses, the row directly behind the driver must remain empty.
On buses and metro carriages with standing space, the rule is that only half of seats may be used and there should only be a maximum of two standing riders per square metre.
From Monday restaurants and cafés in Spain were also allowed to open only for people to collect food, or for a takeaway delivery service.
Some businesses such as bookshops, hardware shops, hairdressers and workshops are also now reopening, but for visits by appointments only. Only one customer can be served by one employee at a time.
Many regions are permitting some stores of up to 400 metres in size to reopen – but for customers with an appointment only.
Purchases (not including food and other essential items) should be made within each persons municipality of residence. However, in smaller towns and where a certain item is not available, trips to nearby areas are permitted.
Establishments have to be cleaned twice a day, all work uniforms washed after their use, and bathrooms cannot be used unless essential. Fitting rooms have to be cleaned after each use.
Preference hours at these establishments is being given to people aged over 65 in Spain. They will have preference (but not exclusivity) between 10am and 12 noon, and from 7pm to 8pm. There will be restrictions on how many people can access the establishments at any one time. Please call or check online the establishments you want to visit for further details.
Restrictions for professional sports have also been lifted from Monday 4 May. Individual training sessions is now allowed, without time limits. Players in professional leagues are able to train individually at their clubs.
Athletes designated as high-performance by the Superior Council for Sports may train individually in the open air in their municipality. They may also access natural areas required for their activity, such as the sea, rivers or reservoirs. There is no limit on training times and coaches are allowed to accompany them. An additional person can also be in attendance in the case of paralympic sports.
Renovation and building work on private homes and business locations is now allowed again. This activity is only permitted if workers and residents or employees do not interact, either by having exclusive working areas or fixed time schedules for the construction workers.
Walks & physical exercise
Officially, walks for adults should be taken between 6am-10am or between 8pm-11pm. Two adults are allowed to take walks together, once a day during those times – but with no maximum time set for the period of walking. Adults should not walk further than a one kilometre radius from where they live.
Adults who do not live together have been told to maintain social distancing (a minimum of two metres) with others they see whilst out walking. People must not congregate in groups, and the walks and exercise must be within their own municipality of residence. Adults must not drive to a location to then commence a walk.
Those needing assistance or to be accompanied during walks, as well as those aged over 70, are allowed to take their walks between 10am and 12 noon or between 7pm-8pm.
In towns with under 5,000 residents, people are now allowed to take walks and exercise between 6am and 11pm. There are around 7,000 towns and villages in Spain with less than 5,000 inhabitants, representing approximately 12% of the population.
All kinds of sports (jogging, cycling, skating) are also allowed during the same time periods as walking, as long as they are practised individually. This means that no team or group sports are allowed – yet two people can jog or cycle alongside one another, maintaining social distancing if they do not live together.
The distance restrictions of one kilometre from home do not apply to individual exercise activities, as long as people remain within their municipality. Sports facilities and gyms remain closed.
Physical activity must be carried out in a continuous manner avoiding unnecessary stops on roads or in areas of public use, it is stated in the BOE. If a stop must be made, it must be strictly for the time necessary.
Those people practising individual sports activities must also not drive to any location to start the activity.
Beaches and water sports
Most beaches remain closed in Spain, but some are open for walking and running on the sand. Some coastal municipalities are also allowing people to swim, and use paddle and surfboards, as well as kayaks – but readers should check with their local authorities as to what is allowed in their own area. The tweet shown below from the town council in Sitges (Barcelona), for example, states that beaches there are already open for sports, but that lying on the sand and sunbathing are not yet allowed at this stage.