The Plan for the Transition to a New Normalcy was approved, establishing the exit phases after the crisis caused by COVID-19.

At the press conference following the Council of Ministers, the Government announced that the de-escalation process would be carried out according to the control of the epidemic in each province and at the speed that the health situation in that area allows, in accordance with objective criteria. The passage from one phase to another in each place will be determined according to the strategic capabilities of its primary care and hospital health system; its epidemiological situation; the implementation of collective protection measures in shops, transport, workplaces and in any public space; and mobility and economic data.

These markers will be public, announced Sánchez, “so that citizens can know the criteria on which the political decisions that will determine the return to the new normality in each territory are based”.

“The process will not be uniform, but asymmetric and with different speeds, but coordinated, so that it is governed by the same rules,” the president stressed. This coordination will fall to the Spanish Government, and the Minister of Health will take the necessary decisions as the delegated authority. However, the opinion of the regional and local authorities will be taken into account, and they will be responsible for a large part of the management. In fact, measures may be taken in territories that do not coincide with the provinces if the Autonomous Communities so request.

Phases of de-escalation
In the current preparatory phase or phase zero, which will begin on May 4, the president has announced that, in addition to the measures planned for minors to go out for an hour and adults to exercise, the opening of premises and establishments by appointment for individual attention to customers, as well as restaurants with takeaway service, without consumption on the premises, is included.

Professional and federated sportsmen and women will be able to start training individually.

In phase one or initial phase, which is expected to start on 11 May, the head of the Executive has indicated that the opening of the shop will be allowed under strict security conditions, except for shopping centres, where agglomerations are more likely.

In restaurants, terraces may be opened with occupancy limitations of 30% and, in hotels, hotels and tourist accommodations, excluding common areas. The agri-food and fishing sectors will resume the activities they had with restrictions. Places of worship may be opened with a capacity limit of one third.

In the field of sport, the president has advanced the opening of high performance centres with reinforced hygiene and protection measures and the permission for average training in professional leagues. For citizens who use public transport, the use of the mask will be “highly recommended”.

In phase two or intermediate, which will begin on 25 May, the interior space of the premises will be opened only for table service, with separation between them and a third of capacity.

Sanchez has specified that the school year will begin in September in general, although the schools may be reopened earlier in order to ensure reinforcement activities, that the minors come in the case that both parents work in person and to hold the tests of the EBAU.

Cinemas, theatres and auditoriums will reopen with one third of their capacity with pre-assigned seats. The exhibition, conference and monument rooms will also open with a third of their usual occupation. Open-air events and shows will be permitted when fewer than 400 people are seated. Places of worship must be limited to 50 per cent of their capacity.

In phase three or advanced, expected from June 8, the president has indicated that general mobility will be made more flexible, although the recommendation to use the mask outside the home and on public transport will be maintained.

The trade will limit the capacity to 50% and a minimum distance of 2 meters between people will be set. In restaurants, capacity and occupancy restrictions will be relaxed somewhat further, although strict conditions of separation between the public will be maintained. Pedro Sanchez has indicated that the Ministry of Health will issue orders detailing all cases.

Minimum period of two weeks per phase
The minimum duration of each of the de-climbing phases has been set at two weeks. In the best case, said Sanchez, the duration of the process will be a month and a half and a maximum of eight weeks, “so at the end of June we would be in the new normal if the evolution of the epidemic is controlled in all territories.