11th May 2020 @ 10:07 am

Today, the Canaries have entered Phase 1 of the Spanish government’s lockdown exit plan, which extends the amount of permitted activities considerably.

For the first time in eight weeks it is possible to have a coffee or meal on a restaurant terrace with friends you haven’t seen for ages. The phase 1 laws also permit many businesses to reopen to the public, although with no tourists on the island, many will still decide not to do so.

Among them are the island’s hotels, which are, in theory, allowed to reopen from today, However, Lanzarote’s hotel association Asolan has confirmed that none of them will be doing so. Spokesman Francisco Martínez said “Reopening makes no sense because there aren’t any people.” 

“If flights to Spain are reestablished in June, as the Canarian President says, then some smaller hotels may open, because there may be demand, said Martínez, adding that “Big hotels won’t open until international flights come back, and that may not be until October.”

The phase 1 rules will run alongside previous laws, such as those that dictate the time-slots for personal exercise. This will result in some strange paradoxes, such as the fact that one can walk as far as you like to visit friends at any time of day, but if you’re not visiting friends you’re limited to the relevant time-slots.

The Canarian government is currently considering changing the 12 noon to 7 pm time-slot  for children’s exercise because of the increasing midday heat . The Phase 1 rules allow regional governments to move slots up to two hours forward or back to address the local climate.

Dos and don’t’s

Here’s a brief round up of some of the most relevant things you can do from today, as well as some things you still can’t do:

From today, you can:

  • Drive in the same car with up to nine people from the same household. It has been confirmed that people who live together don’t need to wear masks in cars, although if there is a single passenger who does not live with the driver, previous rules dictating one person per row and mask use apply.
  • Walk or drive to restaurant or bar terraces, private homes to meet friends, religious establishments, as well as small businesses,  shops, chemists, medical appointments, etc, at any time of the day.
  • Open restaurant and bar terraces to 50% capacity.  Groups of up to 10 people can meet, observing social distancing. Handweashing gel must be provided, payment by card is recommended and toilets may be used by one person at a time.
  • Travel anywhere on the island to do any of the activities above.
  • Play sports involving no physical contact such as tennis or golf, if the installations decide to re-open.
  • Carry out activities of “active and nature tourism”  for groups of up to 10.
  • Open small businesses of less than 400 square metres, as long as they are not in shopping centres (which remain closed). These are limited to 30% capacity and social distancing measures must be observed.
  • Carry out filming, TV shoots and “audiovisual production.”
  • Attend car dealerships, garden centres and ITV centres.

You still cannot:

  • Go shopping at supermarkets in pairs or groups. Exceptions apply to parents in charge of children and the disabled or other dependents.
  • Take exercise outside of the recommended time slots established two weeks ago.
  • Use public transport – buses, taxis etc – without a mask.
  • Go leisure bathing or fishing.