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Runners in El Retiro park
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Phase 2 vs. Phase 3: what are the differences?

These are the changes Madrid plans to undertake when we get to Phase 3 of de-escalation

By Dani Cabezas and Jan Fleischer

As we just head into Phase 2 of de-escalation in Madrid, some of us are already starting to wonder what restrictions will be loosened in Phase 3. So we've set out to give you an idea of what the differences will be between the two phases on our way to the so-called new normal.

Say adiós to timetables. Probably the most noticeable freedom in Phase 3 will be no more set hours for certain groups to go out and exercise, run errands or do anything else.

- Increased capacity on terraces and in bars and restaurants (plus bar service). While in Phase 2 we can head inside bars and restaurants to eat and drink (with a limit to 40 percent of the venue's maximum capacity) only seated at tables, in Phase 3 you can also elbow up to the bar. Of course, you've still got to keep the minimum safety distance of 2 metres between you and the next customer. The measure also implies expanding the interior capacity of the premises. Similarly, the capacity on terraces is increased to 75 of their previous maximums.

- Up to 800 people allowed at outdoor shows. This represents an important change, since it means a doubling in audience size compared to that of Phase 2, when a maximum capacity of 400 was allowed.

- Cinemas, concerts and theatres, at 50 percent capacity. Going to the theatre, to the cinema or to a concert won't yet be what it was before confinement, but gradually it will get closer. Phase 3 brings a relaxation in the control of the capacity, which goes from 30 percent up to 50 percent, as long as the venue has preassigned seats.

Up to 20 people in one house. If you've got the space, you can welcome up to 20 people into your home at one time. 

- In-person return to work. Working from home has been something a huge number of employees have been doing over the last few months. In Phase 3, you'll be allowed to return to your workplace, though they will be subject to the protocols for reincorporation that the Government has yet to establish. Telecommuting will continue to be the preferred option.

- More customers are allowed in shops. In Phase 3, businesses will be able to operate with a capacity of 50 percent of their clientele, regardless of their size, compared to 30 percent in the previous phase, (40 percent in the case of shopping centres). All hygiene and safety measures already in place remain the same, including preferential hours for people over 65 and the obligation to guarantee a minimum distance of two metres between customers.

- Markets can operate with half their stalls. In Phase 2 street markets could open with a third of their stalls, and Phase 3 sees that increased to half. 

- Summer camps. In Phase 3, activities aimed at children and young people, such as summer camps, can start back up. Prevention and hygiene measures must be guaranteed, and the organisation must have a procedure to handle possible cases of COVID-19.

- Weddings with more guests. In Phase 2 weddings were allowed again. In Phase 3, the happy couple can invite more guests to celebrate with, as a maximum of 150 are allowed in outdoor spaces, or 75 in indoor places, as long as they do not exceed 75 percent of the capacity of the venue.

- Wakes, burials and funerals. Gatherings to mourn the loss of loved ones can be increased to a maximum of 50 guests if they are outdoors, and 25 if they are indoors. In the case of burials or cremations, the number is limited to 50 guests.




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