MADRID (Reuters) - Four small Spanish islands will be able to open the outside terraces of bars and restaurants to 75% of their capacity from Monday, the government said, a further easing of coronavirus lockdown rules for parts of the country least affected by the disease.
Tables on terraces must still be kept 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart, according to regulations published by the government's Official Bulletin on Saturday and affecting La Graciosa, El Hierro and La Gomera in the Canary Islands, and Formentera in the Balearics.
Spain, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by the disease, has been lifting restrictions in a phased fashion, with some regions deemed safer than others to move back to normal.
In the four islands entering phase 3, groups of up to 20 people can meet and shopping centers will be allowed to re-open at 40% of capacity. Hotels and other leisure establishments can have common areas up to 50% of capacity.
Companies should still encourage home working but also can organize the return of workers to the office as long as their arrival is staggered. Museums will be allowed to organize activities.
Spain has recorded more than 238,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 27,000 deaths.
The rate of infection has slowed substantially. Thirty-nine people died during the past week compared with a daily death toll in the hundreds a month ago, the health ministry said on Friday.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Frances Kerry)