A cyclist does sports this morning in Vitoria.LINO RICO
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The de-escalation has not really started. Spain continues in what the Government calls phase 0, that is, the population remains confined and economic and commercial activity practically stopped. But this Saturday begins the anticipation of that slow return to normality (or to that situation that is closest to what existed before). First they were the children accompanied by a parent and now the entire population will be able to walk once a day and do individual exercise, “relief” measures, as described by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in order not to worsen the health – physical and mental – of the Spaniards, who this Friday completed 48 days of confinement.RELATED
This new measure will continue until the territories pass to phase 1, which will happen on Monday in four islands (Formentera, El Hierro, La Graciosa and La Gomera) and in some provinces or islands from day 11. Those that do not meet the epidemiological criteria (low incidence of cases) and the preparation of their health systems (among others, being able to do PCR tests on all suspects, isolate them and track all their contacts), they will have to wait. The “relief” of the confinement will be done by time slots to avoid crowds. Therefore, it does not apply to municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. The rule, published this Friday in the Official State Gazette, adds a ban to the requirements advanced on Thursday: people cannot travel by car, motorcycle or public transport to another area of their municipality to do sports.
Graphic guide of age ranges and details of the new measures
The order includes the reasons why the Government has decided to allow the orderly exits from the homes. Firstly, because “the practice of physical activity and the reduction of sedentary lifestyle are factors that have a positive influence on the improvement of people’s health, on the prevention of chronic diseases and, therefore, on the quality and life expectancy of the population ”. And secondly, as a “measure of equity”. The declaration of the state of alarm has had an “uneven impact” on the population, he says, because the conditions of the houses are not the same for everyone. A third of Spanish homes are less than 75 square meters, according to the latest census, 2011. In the city of Madrid, 30% of homes are less than 60 meters.
A cyclist circulates through Madrid Río. In video, the government’s guide to sports outings JUAN MEDINA (REUTERS | VIDEO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH)
Physical exercise and walks. From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. These strips are dedicated to people over 14 years old. If it is for a walk, they can do it in pairs, but they cannot go more than a kilometer from their home. This restriction does not apply to those who practice a sport, which must be done individually. Both walkers and athletes have no time limit within their time slot.
Elderly and dependent. There are also two time slots reserved for this population: from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 19:00 to 20:00. During these hours, those over 70 (who can be accompanied by a person with whom they live between 14 and 70 years old) and dependent people who need their caregivers may go out, the Government did not specify a time limit for them either.
Walks with children. The rules for the departures of children under 14 are the same, although the time slot in which they can do so is reduced: from 12.00 to 19.00. Only a parent or caregiver can accompany them, as before, and only for 1 hour and one kilometer from home. Family outings are not allowed yet. In a family of two parents and two under the age of 14, parents could hypothetically go for a walk together in the adult time slot — if the children weren’t too young to be left alone — but not all four in children’s hours.
Is it a walk or a sport? The walk is limited to one kilometer around from home and the sport only requires not leaving the municipality. But the BOE does not need more. “Will we all go out in tracksuits so that we can go more than a kilometer away?” Asked social network users, supposedly as a joke. Physical activity “must be carried out continuously avoiding unnecessary stops on roads or spaces for public use.” If there is a stop, it will have to be “for the time strictly necessary”. So far what the standard says.
Accurate health: “Controls may be carried out, as is being done now.” And remember, as Minister Salvador Illa has done, that maintaining the downward trend in the number of infections depends on how citizens do it. Of individual responsibility. The same goes for the ban on going out more than once a day. The order published in the BOE does not go into how it is going to be controlled that someone does not walk twice. The Ministry of Health appeals to the common sense of citizens.
Train away from home. Athletes may not use any form of transportation to get to, for example, a park away from home where they want to run or train on a bicycle. They will have to do it in one that they can access on foot or on their own bicycle (those for shared use are not designed for sports, remember the municipalities that offer them), always within their municipality.
Keep distance. It is the common standard. That people who live together go for a walk together does not pose any risk, but there is if they get too close to others. Both on walks and in sports, “an interpersonal distance with third parties of at least two meters must be maintained.” The norm indicates that it will also be necessary to avoid crowded spaces.
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