Spain: Madrid businesses reopen as de-escalation of COVID-19 restrictions begins

The reopening of some businesses has been made possible following the de-escalation of the state of alarm and restrictions helping combat the spread of coronavirus, as footage recorded in Madrid on Monday shows. 'Phase 0' of the de-escalation announced by Pedro Sanchez on 28 April allows the opening of local shops and businesses of less than 400 square metres (4305 square feet). Cafeterias and... Еще restaurants were also allowed to open, but only to offer a take-away service or for customers to pick up take-away food without staying on the premises. All premises are obliged to respect certain safety standards. «We are taking precautions with masks, gloves, bleach, ammonia, lots of disinfection. So we are only taking one person, and phone calls as well, [for orders of people] who come to pick it up,» explained Claudia, a shop assistant at the Star Florist in Malasana. The hairdressers are one of the establishments that the Spanish have missed the most. Jordi, the owner of the Arte Efímero hairdresser's in Malasasa, explained that they have a three-week waiting list. According to reports, in the first weekend of the de-escalation there was a 61 percent increase in fines in Madrid compared to the previous weekend, for infringements such as bottles in the street. The Government Delegation in Madrid reported that 7,419 fines were issued between 2 and 3 May, compared to 4,594 the previous weekend. To date, there have been 218,011 cases of COVID-19 and 25,428 related deaths in Spain, according to the Ministry of Health.

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