Events Returning in Spain as Soon as This Month With Strict Capacity Restrictions

spain covid 19 reopening

As per the exit plan announced by the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, ‘cultural events’ will be resuming as soon as this month, in May!

While there are stringent requirements and guidelines that need to be followed, its a start.

The reopening will span over four phases starting on May 11. As per the government plan, they are currently in the preparatory phase they’re calling phase 0. While this is definitely a time for organizers to let out of sigh of relief since this seems like the light at the end of the tunnel, the strict capacity reductions and other restrictions could prove a pain-point for them.

Like plans across a lot of states and countries around the world as they slowly plan to reopen from their lockdowns, Spain’s plan will also see each phase of 14 days as a minimum and re-evaluation before moving on to the next phase of the plan. Just like the impact of the outbreak wasn’t of the same magnitude in every region, so will the reopening plans vary per region with different regions of the country possibly proceeding at different rates.

As reported by IQ magazine, in the first phase which is set to start on May 11, ‘cultural events’ will be allowed to resume, with a maximum capacity of 30 people for indoor venues that usually have a capacity of 90 or more, and of 200 for open-air events. The catch for outdoor events will be that they will mandatorily have to be seated and social distancing rules have to be applied.

Moving forward into Phase 2 & 3 which would potentially be by May 26 and June 10 respectively, the capacities start to increase, a little at the least. Phase 2 will be when cinemas, theatres, art galleries, and museums will also be allowed to reopen a third of their total capacity. During this phase, the threshold for indoor events rises to 50 people and 400 for outdoor, still with assigned seating. Finally, the third phase which is currently planned for June 10th, the capacity for indoor events rises to 80, while outdoor functions can host up to 800 people in seats while maintaining the social distancing rules.

While many looked at this news positively, event organizers are left needing a lot more clarity on the restrictions. Speaking to Resident Advisor (link – ) Brunch cofounder and director Loïc Le Joliff said the lack of specific details and concrete dates makes planning for these phases “complicated” and “challenging.” “Of course promoters in Spain last week were very happy. That was the first piece of good news—we saw some light at the end of the tunnel. But then we checked the details, and we realized that there are no details yet. And we realized there’s a lot of contradiction.”

While functioning at a third of their capacity will not be viable for most venues and promoters, now might be the time to re-adapt and rethink their plans. Le Joliff went on to say it was all or nothing the electronic industry there, “The electronic music industry’s attitude is every single thing that we are able to do, we are going to do it,” he said. “We’ll make it work… Of course, if you don’t change your model, it doesn’t make sense at one-third capacity. We’ll have to readapt.”

He also acknowledged while it might not be worth making strategies for a phase that will change again in 2 weeks, he said they might watch the phases closely but choose to wait back and watch for a few months before strategizing for the ‘new normal.’

Echoing a similar sentiment, director of international booking at Córdoba-based Riff Productions, told IQ “Honestly, the way it has been presented almost hurts us more than helps because very few if any, events will be able to comply. We are trying to get a clearer idea of what kind of safety measures we would need to provide for this capacity.” Ortiz also highlighted the fact that no information has been given as to when larger events such as festivals can be held again, preventing cancellation due to force majeure.

While different countries and states within highly impacted countries slowly begin to propose their re-opening plans, it only gets clearer that we are not returning to life we knew as normal anytime soon. Experts have said from the beginning that this pandemic is going to lead the world towards a new normal and as these plans are revealed, that’s only becoming more apparent.

H/T – IQ Magazine

Melody Siganporia
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