THE de-escalation phase sent in by the Junta de Andalucia to the Ministry of Health establishes a limit of 30 minutes to purchase items in a store, and a limit of 90 minutes in larger establishments, and discards the option for typical ‘sales’ periods in a bid to limit crowds.
This Monday, the Andalucian government transferred their proposal for the de-escalation of their population to the government of Spain. Their proposal is based on the level of the spread of the coronavirus and the pressure that the epidemic has placed upon their hospitals which is thankfully much lower than the national average.
The calendar which has been proposed by the Junta de Andalucia but which must first be filtered and authorised by the Ministry of Health is as follows:
May 1: Older people can take to the streets for walks and individual sports activities.
May 3: Religious celebrations can resume.
May 10: All family members of the household unit may go outside together all whilst following the safety precautions issued by the government.
May 11: Hairdressing salons, beauty centres and shops would reopen.
May 18: Funerals would resume.
May 25: Bars, restaurants and cafes would reopen.
June: Lastly, the hotels and beaches in Andalucía would open sometime during the first fortnight of June.
However, this calendar is attached to a series of security and virus prevention recommendations. For example, in bars and restaurants they would be requested ‘not to share plates or cutlery, for only individual dishes be served, and that filters be installed in the air conditioning system’; that the entry of clients be organised in turns and through telephone reservations, with an interval of time sufficient to disinfect and clean the table occupied by the last client.
The maximum time in a cafeteria or restaurant would be 30 minutes for breakfast and 90 minutes for lunch and dinner. The maximum number of people who can reserve a table will be four, although if these four people can prove that they live together, the diners at the table could be expanded.
The vice president of the Board and tourism adviser, Juan Marín, anticipates that the transition period for the hospitality sector to adapt to these conditions may last “20 days or a month, because not all bars and restaurants are the same.” Marín believes that the hotels “will have it easier” to condition their common facilities to the protection and security measures – swimming pool, gym, dining room.
“In hotels it is easier, for example, to organise individual lunches and dinners that can be brought up to your room,” says the Minister of Tourism, after stressing that all the proposals have been “agreed” with the sector. “These measures can be provisional or permanent, because we do not know how long the pandemic will last,” he adds.
In shops and clothing stores, they have requested the disinfection of returned or used garments in fitting rooms. The maximum length of stay is 30 minutes in retail stores and 90 minutes in larger establishments. It is also proposed to avoid specific sales periods, that up till now, stores would have typically offered.
As for outdoor activities, the Board proposes a distance of four to five meters between people who are walking in the same direction; ten meters for those who are running or doing sports, and 20 meters for cyclists.
Runners and other types of athletes have the boardwalk from 7.00 to 10.00 in the morning, and between 21.00 and 23.00 in the evening. For outings and walks in the fresh air, the Ministry of Health proposes that there be time slots decided by age, that is: between 9:00 and 14:00, the oldest may go out, and between 16:00 and 21:00 children may enjoy the outdoors.
Regarding the reopening of the beaches, the President of the Board, Juan Manuel Moreno, advanced that this could be achieved by using “grids”, with a “limited capacity”, as you would expect in bars and hotels, and with security agents monitoring the security distance between towels and hammocks.
However, Marín has clarified this Monday that the reopening of the beaches is a competence of the central government, “unless they give us that competent authority”, and for now there is no concrete plan on how to reopen the beaches in Andalucia.