The Spanish hospitality industry has started to suggest the phases through which bars and restaurants may be able to start to open again as we all adjust to our new reality in a post confinement Covid-19 world.

Social distancing screens suggested by Madrid entrepreneur to assist with the safe opening of bars and restaurants after the lockdown. Image courtesy of

Throughout Spain up to 680,000 jobs, from a total of 1.7m employed in bars and restaurants, are likely to be directly affected at the most critical moments of the process with a definitive structural loss of 207,000 job already expected.  8.8% of the Spanish workforce is employed in the industry, whereas in The Canary Islands the number stands at nearly a quarter of all employees who are likely to see big changes of the weeks and months to come.

Four phases have been put forward as the likely trajectory of any return to work for bars and restaurants:

1. Confinement : a situation in which an almost total cessation of activity (with the exception of home deliveries) and income generation was decreed as part of the State of Emergency. This phase is likely to continue, at least, until May 9, with no guarantees that it won’t be extended further should the situation on the ground worsen again.

2. Restricted opening : a phase of slow recovery of activity with the gradual lifting of restrictions.

3. Demand in transition : opening without restrictions, but with an initial demand limited by the fear of contagion and decreased tourism.

4. Structural change : recovery of a level of activity closer to that of the period prior to the crisis, but with the effect of lower demand and change of habits .

Nobody yet knows what this timetable will actually look like, but projects are continuing across Spain, and The Canary Islands, to attempt to map out the phases through which a return to these activities might be achieved.  Plans for retail outlets are expected to be put forward this week and the President of The Canary Islands Regional Government, Ángel Victor Torres, has said that he expects a general plan to be set out by Friday May 1st, with the assistance of stakeholders who are advising the government as to their needs and plans to reopen safely. Torres chaired a meeting this Monday to outline the basis of the document his administration is preparing.

We will bring you more information as we get it.