Spain’s Ministry of Health has today denied both Madrid and Barcelona access to Phase 1 of de-escalation, despite recent public unrest and backlash in both cities.
HOWEVER, it has agreed to meet both cities half way through Phase 0.5 of de-escalation, which will allow both Madrid and Barcelona to relax some business rules.
This means companies will be able to resume activity without the need for appointments, but with limits on capacity still in place. In short, Phase 0.5 is similar to Phase 0, but with certain confinement measures eased to help reactivate the economy. However, social gatherings at home/outdoors will still not be permitted. Restaurant and cafe/bar terraces cannot reopen either until Phase 1, said the government.
Despite Madrid’s demands, the Health Ministry did not release reports to justify its reasons for denying access to the next phase. However, Health Minister Salvador Illa acknowledged that although the region meets criteria “for intensive care unit bed capacity,” it failed to conduct “enough PCR Covid-19 laboratory tests on all people displaying with Covid-19 symptoms.”
On a more positive note, the whole region of Valencia has now been approved for Phase 1. A few areas within Valencia were granted access to Phase 1 on May 11, but now the rest of the region has got the go-ahead to proceed to the next phase of de-escalation.