These images show residents in the Spanish Canary Islands returning to normal life as they sip coffees on terraces after they were placed in the first phase of Spain’s deconfinement plan ahead of the rest of the country.
The Canary Islands of El Hierro and La Graciosa, two of the group of eight islands in southeastern Spain, have been placed in ‘Phase 1’ of the Spanish government’s plan to end the coronavirus lockdown.
According to the Chamber of Commerce of La Gomera, 50 percent of local businesses have already opened with the other half still closed as they depend on tourism to open.
A local shopkeeper whose name has not been reported told local media: “It is what we had calculated as many (local businesses) depend on tourism and they have preferred not to open. In addition, there is that small fear that logically exists.
“We hope that in the following week many will follow.”
A supermarket customer whose name has not been reported said: “It is like a normal day before all this happened.”
Noelia Nunez, a fashion boutique owner in the tourist town of Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera said: “Customers have come to shop, try on clothes and look for presents.”
Local business owners have followed the safety measures dictated by the Spanish government including keeping a distance of two metres between tables in restaurants and bars, the use of face masks for staff and allowing only two customers in shops at a time.
Ramon Mora, the owner of a flower shop in the town of San Sebastian in la Gomera, said: “Everything has gone very well and under control, both for us and for customers. They (the customers) have waited in the street and they have gone into the flower shop one by one.”
The first phase of the plan will last two weeks and after this period the local authorities and the Spanish government will asses the situation on the islands to decide if the territory can move on to the next stage.
The rest of the country remains in ‘Phase 0’ of the plan, with residents now allowed out of their homes for one hour a day, but the hospitality industry still in full lockdown.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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