The province of Alicante will enter Phase 3 of the de-escalation plan starting next Monday, along with the rest of the Valencian Community. Following the request made by the Generalitat on Tuesday the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, and the director of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, authorised the move following Friday morning’s meeting of the monitoring committee.

In phase 3, the Consell can assume the adoption and control of the whtever measures it feels are appropriate, as well as decide how long to stay in the phase. The only thing that is outside its authority is to grant mobility to a different autonomous community.

Among the changes that this phase allows is interprovincial mobility within the Valencian Community. In other words, people from Alicante will be able to travel to the provinces of València and Castellón, and vice versa, which can be key to stimulating local tourism. Likewise, the time slots  for going outside disappear completely (in Phase 2, only the periods for the elderly and those most at risk were kept).

Other changes that Phase 3 incorporates include the opening of discotheques and nightlife venues, although the dance areas will continue to be disabled, as well as an increase in the maximum capacity allowed in the restaurants which will change to 70% of the interior space. Customers will also be able to sit or stand at the bar (which until now they could not) as long as safety distances can be maintained. The other establishment that can reopen from Monday are the betting shops , casinos and the like.

As for hotels and shopping centres, they also gain ‘capacity’ with the passage to zone 3. Thus, the common areas of shopping centres may be put back into use, as can the common areas of the hotels.

The most important change that will apply in phase 3 is the authority of the Generalitat to manage it’s own situation and measures. It can also decide just how long it wishes the Valencian Community to remain in Phase 3 and when it will adopt the so-called ‘new normal’.

If everything goes according to plan, the period in Phase 3 will be no more than one week, according to the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló.

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