Third time lucky for Madrid, as, after three weeks spent petitioning the Spanish government for the Community of Madrid to move into Phase 1 of de-escalation, at last the region has met all the criteria established by the Ministry of Health to move into Phase 1 on Monday, May 25 and loosen some of the previous restrictions. So what's now allowed (and not allowed) in Phase 1? We summarise it for you here, and encourage everyone to continue acting responsibly and complying with established safety measures, such as wearing mandatory face masks, keeping a distance of at least 2 metres, etc.
- Social get-togethers. Now's the time when we can see any local friends and family, but with some limitations. You can visit with those who live in the same province as you, as inter-provincial travel is not yet permitted. Gatherings are limited to ten people, whether you're inside someone's home or outside in the open air.
- Timetables. The same timetables and guidelines we've been adhering to for walks, individual sport, and going outside with kids still apply throughout Phase 1. They do not apply, however, for social get-togethers or having a drink or a bite to eat on terraces that are opening this week as well, which can be done at any time, just as we've been doing until now with food shopping or going to the pharmacy, for example.
- Bars and restaurants. Establishments that have an outdoor terrace may now open it to the public, but only at 50 percent of its capacity and ensuring a distance of two metres between tables. You'll notice an absence of items susceptible to a lot of people touching them, such as holders for serviettes and toothpicks, oil cruets and individual menus. You'll find either one-use menus or you can consult menus on screens or chalkboards.
- Parks. Phase 1 also means the city's big parks that were closed up until now can open. Those include El Retiro, Madrid Río, Casa de Campo, Fuente del Berro, Capricho, La Quinta de los Molinos, the Sabatini gardens, Torres Arias, Juan Carlos I, Juan Pablo II, Viveros, Estufas, Rosaleda, Valdebebas, Finca Tres Cantos, Parque del Oeste, Oriente, Dehesa de la Villa and Lineal del Manzanares.
- Transport. The city's workers are still encouraged to work from home if they can, in order to avoid crowded buses, trains and metro cars, but if you've got to use public transport, it's obligatory to wear a mask at all times, and you must wear gloves when using BiciMad.
- Commerce. Shops are to carry on following measures similar to those already being applied in the so-called Phase 0.5: hygiene and disinfection measures, opening only of premises with a maximum of 400 square metres, a 30 percent maximum capacity, and if it's not possible to keep the safe 2-metre distance between customers, then they will have to be allowed in one at a time. Markets can also get back to business starting on the 25th, but only with 25 percent of their stalls and with capacity restrictions. Shopping centres currently remain closed.
- Culture. Cultural performances can pick up again in cinemas, theatres and other venues with a limit of 30 percent of their capacity, as well as a limit of 30 people in enclosed spaces, and of 200 people (seated and with 2 metres between them) in outdoor spaces. Museums can open to a third of their capacity, and there will be safety control in the various rooms to keep crowds from forming. Libraries can open for lending and returning works, reading, and gathering bibliographic and library information.
- Gyms. Gyms and sport centres cannot yet open to their members in general or to the public, but they can offer services aimed at the development of sporting activity on an individual basis and by previous appointment only.