Spain loosens restrictions in towns with fewer than 10,000 residents

Spain has loosened restrictions in all municipalities across Spain whose population number fewer than 10,000 residents regardless of whether it is in Phase 0 or Phase 1.

The new order, published on Friday in the Official State Gazette, will see bars and restaurants open regardless what phase the province is in, and eliminates the need to keep to a strict timetable on hours allowed outside the home depending on age, and loosens restrictions on walks.

Until now everyone in Spain apart from those in town with fewer that 5,000 inhabitants, have to take their exercise within a scheduled time slot with the adults allowed out between 6am and 10am and 8 pm and 11pm while children under 14 could go outside for up to one hour between noon and 7pm.

Those over 70 years old were left with the times between 10am and 12am and 7pm and 8pm to take their walk.

The rules applied to all municipalities in Phase 0 and Phase 1 except those with a population of less than 5,000 but that has now been extended to include towns with fewer than 10,000 residents and a population density of less than 100 inhabitants per square kilometre.

The new order eliminates the need for time slots entirely, and also removes the stipulation that only one adult can take up to three children out to play.

From now on in those towns with fewer than 10,000 people anyone from the same household is allowed to take a walk together.

Children will be allowed for a walk not just within the municipality but up to 5km from their home presuming those areas are also within a municipality of fewer than 10,000 people as long as they are within the same province.

Open air markets are allowed to take place whether in Phase 0 or Phase 1  as long as guidelines set by local councils regarding occupancy and distancing can be met.

The BOE also states that these small municipalities can reopen hotel and restaurant interior dining rooms as long as capacity doesn't exceed 40 percent but bars can not open interior areas although they can offer tables outside as ling as just 50 percent of the usual terrace capacity is met. 

Funerals and wakes can also be held with a maximum of 15 people inside and 25 outside regardless of whether the attendees are from different households.

Places of worship can now hold services as long as they do not exceed 50 percent of capacity and social distancing is observed.

Meanwhile in those provinces that have advanced to Phase 1 already, meetings between friends and relatives within small  municipalities can rise from 10 to a maximum of 15.

Outdoor sports facilities can be used with an advance apointment up to 30 percent of usual capacity and with social distancing imposed.

The new rules only apply to those municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people and with a population density not great than 100 inhabitants per square kilometre.  

But the order stated that those municipalities with a “dense urban area” or that border a dense urban area of a municipality with a population exceeding 10,000 people are exempt from these new rules.

In Spain there are 7,372 towns with a population below 10,000 representing some 90 percent of the total of the 8,131 municipalities across the country as a whole.

Although only 20 percent – around 9.5 million people – of Spain's entire 46.9 million population of Spain  live in these towns.


Datadista have published an interactive map so you see exactly which towns come under the 10,000 population rules.




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