Barcelona has had a rough few weeks to say the least. However, as the numbers of COVID-19 patients in the IC are declining every day, the Spanish government has published a ‘four-phase plan’ to try and get the country back on its feet. In this plan, the Spanish government gives people an overview on how to lift the Coronavirus lockdown and to return to the new normality by the end of June. Of course, this plan is based on an estimation. Many factors can determine whether the plan will be executed like this, or some changes might be made along the way. Nonetheless, as we believe it is important to look ahead, we would like to give you a global overview of the four-phase plan as it stands today!
Preparatory Phase zero
The first phase of the plan was initiated on 4th May. This phase meant that hairdressers and other businesses that offer services by appointment could reopen. Furthermore, restaurants were allowed to reopen for take away only. In addition to this, people were allowed to have a short walk outside and individual sports were allowed as well. Currently 90% of the areas in Spain, including Barcelona, are in Phase zero. When a province meets all the requirements, they are allowed to move on to Phase one on May 11th. Provinces who do not meet the requirements will remain in Phase zero.
Phase one allows restaurants and bars to reopen their terraces with no more than 50% occupation. However, these restaurants and bars need to follow strict safety conditions. Under these same strict conditions, small businesses are allowed to reopen as well. Hotels and other tourist accommodation services can reopen as long as they exclude their communal areas to their guests. In addition to this, places of worship will be reopened as well, as long as they limit their capacity to one third. Phase 1 will take approximately 2 weeks. However, this is only an estimation and it can be altered. Another big change is that during phase one citizens will be allowed to meet with friends or family in their homes in the same province as long as the social distancing measures are in place.
When Phase one is over, we can move on to Phase two. Phase two is estimated to start from late May. This phase means that theatres and cinemas can reopen, filling no more than a third of their capacity. Museums will also be allowed to reopen under the same conditions. During phase two places of worship can increase their capacity to 50% and some schools will reopen. However, most schools will remain closed until September. For tourists it is important to know that during phase two many historic visitor attractions and monuments could be allowed to reopen, but only with a third capacity. Big cultural events will be allowed with a capacity of 400 people, as long as everyone is seated, and social distancing is in place.
Phase three is the last phase of the plan, and it is expected to start around mid-June. During this phase, big cultural events can expand their capacity to 800 people. All aforementioned businesses and services will be allowed to expand their capacity to 50% and people will have more free movement between regions in Spain. Another big change during this phase is that beaches might be reopened. This is some great news for everyone who loves to relax on the beach! Phase three will loosen more measures, so we can build towards a new normality.
Although there are still many uncertainties, it is important to keep looking for the positive things! It is only a matter of time for when we can enjoy our lovely city again. Some beautiful days with delicious Catalan food and refreshing cocktails are waiting for us. All we have to do is remain patient, so we can have some great times in Barcelona again!