Sanchez Announces Spain's De-escalating Plan, To Last Until The End of June
“Our purpose is to get Spain back on track,” says the president of the government The de-escalation plan has 4 phases, to last at least 8 weeks and applied by province
Schools will not reopen this before September except for support classes for students with both parents working
“As we begin to glimpse the outcome, after the gigantic collective effort, we have managed to bend the curve of the pandemic”, celebrated Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday afternoon. The President of the Government announced that a plan for a transition from lockdown to a new normal which was approved today by the Council of Ministers will consist of four phases, in which less strict confinement will be extended, until the end of June. “The duration of the de-escalation, in the best case, will be six weeks, and the maximum duration will be eight weeks,” explained Sánchez, as Spain is already approaching the 7th week of the state of alarm.
“The important purpose is to get Spain back on track,” he said. And he insisted that this de-escalation will be “gradual, asymmetrical and coordinated.” This graduality of progressive deconfinement has been explained by Sánchez through the four phases in which the plan will be deployed.
Phase 0, or preparation of the transition, will start on May 4th and will already allow opening “small cracks” in confinement, restaurants will be able to serve food to take out without being consumed on the premises and professional sports training will be allowed.
Phase 1, or the initial phase, will be launched on 11th May and will involve the “partial” restart of certain activities, such as small businesses opening, the opening of hospitality terraces, to 30% of their capacity, and some hotels, with restrictions and excluding common areas.
Phase 2, or the intermediate, cinemas phase, theatres or exhibition halls can reopen but with their capacity reduced to one third.
Phase 3, or advanced, will be the last phase, and there will already be a “flexibility of general mobility”, with the limitation of the capacity of the shops to 50%, and the “softening” of restrictions in hospitality.
Each of these last three phases will have a minimum duration of two weeks. Sanchez insisted the de-escalation plan will last a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of eight weeks. “By the end of June we will be in the new normal,” said Sanchez.
Four islands will take the lead. Formentera, in the Balearic Islands, as well as La Gomera, Hierro, and La Graciosa, in the Canary Islands, will enter directly this May 4 in phase 1. The entire provinces in Spain will undertake phase 1 on 11 May.
“We went in together and we’ll go out together as a country,” said the president of the government. “We will descend as a team, at different speeds, asymmetrically,” he insisted. However, Sánchez reiterated that caution will be the government’s maxim in this process: “We are not going to put ourselves at risk out of impatience, we will always choose prudence,” he has assured. And he has admitted that the road will be “difficult and complex.” “We’re going to start a journey without GPS, because it doesn’t exist,” he said. With a final call not to let your guard down: “The virus isn’t gone, it’s still there, lurking.” “We must arrest impatience with caution,” he finished.
Sánchez has also admitted that the “most effective” instrument for dealing with the disease is the state of alarm declared since March 14, six weeks ago. So it is presumed that until all phases of the de-escalation are completed the alarm state will be maintained. However, the President of the Government has assured that he will go “step by step”, and therefore has only confirmed that next week he will again request a fourth extension of the alarm state for another 15 days.