Covid-19 - Spanish Cycling & Travel Update
Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis Spain has never been far from the headlines. As one of the worst affected countries in Europe to date, it has seen some of the strictest lockdown measures. However, as the situation improves there are also signs that the cycling and tourism sectors are ready to make a return.
At its peak Spain saw in excess of 900 daily Covid-19 related deaths for 7 consecutive days. As the effects of the confinement are now being seen in the government statistics the daily death toll has dropped to below 400. It’s worth noting that the impact of Covid-19 has not been uniform; here in the Region of Murcia the number of positive Covid-19 cases is the lowest in mainland Spain.
Although the State of Alarm has been extended to 11 May controls are being slowly lifted firstly with respect to allowing children out of the home. Additionally there are positive signs that cycling might form part of the solution due to the health benefits of exercise and the social distancing possible when compared to using public transport. These ideas were first suggested by cycling lobbying groups but now have the support of the Spanish Minister of the Environment. It’s clear that Spain will be exercising caution in lifting the lockdown the Health Minister has signalled that allowing sport outdoors is being considered.
Despite the fact that restrictions are expected to be lifted in a slow and considered manner the travel and tourist industry is working hard in the background to ensure that they are ready to operate in the new world alongside Covid-19. Airlines including Easyjet have announced that when they start operating they will maintain centre seats empty to enhance social distancing.
On a local level businesses in the Region of Murcia have been outlining their plans to ensure customer safety in the hospitality industry. Measures under consideration include enlarging terraces, provision of screens between tables and enhanced hygiene measures in the preparation and serving of food.
Here at Etiquette Cycling we’re pleased to see that the lockdown measures are having an effect on the spread of Covid-19. Today (24 April) the government is meeting with regional leaders to discuss the strategy for removing restrictions. Hopefully we’ll soon be able to report that outdoor exercise is permitted.