Barcelona and Lleida will enter lockdown easing Phase 3 on Thursday

Catalan government plans "immediate" end of de-escalation plan, bypassing Phase 3 in all health regions

Barcelona's Barceloneta beach on June 13, 2020, the first day when bathing was allowed since the lockdown was enacted
Barcelona's Barceloneta beach on June 13, 2020, the first day when bathing was allowed since the lockdown was enacted / Blanca Blay

ACN | Barcelona

June 17, 2020 04:51 PM

Barcelona, its metropolitan area and the Lleida health regions will move to lockdown easing Phase 3 on Thursday after Spain's health ministry accepted a proposal put forth by the Catalan government on Wednesday evening. 

From Thursday, all Catalan health regions will be in the last stage of the de-escalation plan – meaning travelling within all of Catalonia will be permitted again for the first time in around three months. 

Yet, this is not going to last long. Indeed, on Tuesday, the Catalan cabinet spokesperson said that as soon as Illa accepts their proposal for the Catalan capital and the western region, they will "immediately" decree the end of the lockdown de-escalation plan.

Spokesperson Meritxell Budó said that the Catalan government will put their own rules in place on issues like travel, hygiene, and face masks. The state of alarm in Spain will come to an end on Sunday.

Spain allows regions to put an end to Phase 3 once they have achieved this stage. 

Phase 3 includes a larger capacity in all sort of establishments allowed, the opening of pub bars and nightclubs. 

Meetings of up to 20 people will be now permitted in these areas, as well as cultural shows and events with audiences of less than 80 indoors and 800 outdoors (seated).

Here's a full guide on what is allowed in Phase 3:

Phase 3

Phase 3 is the last stage in the de-escalation scheme published by the Spanish government, and regional governments like the Catalan one are allowed to regain full control of the areas in this stage.

The Catalan executive will be able to decide when Phase 3 is over and the so-called new normality begins – on Tuesday, June 9, the Spanish government will reveal the rules of this new period that might well end when a vaccine for Covid-19 is found.

In Phase 3, indoor areas of bars and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, while terraces can operate at 75% capacity. Standing in bars is permitted but with a distance of 1.5 m between customers.

Nightclubs can open and operate at a third of their usual capacity. In the May 30 official gazette it was also specified that bar and restaurant bars will also allow their clients to sit at them too rather than only sit at indoor or outdoor tables.

All rooms of hotels can open from Phase 1, but common areas can open to 1/3 capacity during Phase 2 and 1/2 capacity during Phase 3.

In Phase 3 permitted capacity of shops increases to 50%, as long as a minimum distance of two meters between customers can be guaranteed, and common areas at shopping centers will be able to reopen too.

Also, activities that were previously allowed at 1/3 capacity can now take place at 1/2 capacity.

Performing arts venues and music venues can open at 1/3 capacity. Cultural shows and events can take place with audiences of less than 80 indoors and 800 outdoors (seated). Theme parks can open with up to 800 people.

In Phase 3, cultural activities at libraries will be able to resume, as will leisure activities for children.

In Phase 2 people can meet up in groups of up to 15 people, with the limit of three children per accompanying adult will no longer in place, while in Phase 3 groups of up to 20 people can get together.

Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, said on June 5 that if Catalonia or any territory requests that mobility be allowed between health regions within the same territory, or comunitat autònoma (in Catalan), he will grant it. Yet, between 'comunitats autònomes', this will have to wait until June 21.