The New Normality in Marbella & Spain Starts

by Thomas Harper

New Normality starts

With the Coronavirus pandemic relatively under control in Spain, the country now enters the New Normality phase of the government’s de-escalation plans– which also coincides with the end of the state of alarm.

Galicia was the first region to enter the New Normality on Monday 15 June. Catalonia, the Basque Country and Cantabria then entered the New Normality from Friday 19 June.

All other regions in Spain currently remain in Phase Three – with the exception of Madrid and four provinces in Castilla y León (Segovia, Soria, Ávila and Salamanca) that are still in Phase Two.

However, each regional government can now decide when the final phase restrictions can be lifted, and what measures should be maintained before, or introduced during, the New Normality.

Many of the regions – including Madrid, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Aragón, Extremadura and Murcia – have already announced measures that will limit the capacity of customers and visitors in certain establishments.

The Madrid regional government has announced plans to be in the ‘New Normality’ by 6 July, and in the meantime is changing some of the restrictions for the final stages of Phases 2 & 3

Traditional summer fiestas that involve large crowds are likely to also be suspended by many regional governments.

New Normality – key points

Mobility, Travel & Tourism

As the state of alarm has now been lifted, all citizens in Spain are free to travel from region to region. Fernando Simón, director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts, has insisted that, ‘Journeys should not be made if they are unnecessary, but this is now a case of individual responsibility.’

Spain has opened its borders and lifted quarantine for EU and Schengen area visitors from Sunday 21 June (with the exception of Portugal), and for other international visitors from 1 July.

Face masks and social distancing

The wearing of face masks remains compulsory in Spain until a Coronavirus(Covid-19) vaccine is found, with police having the power to fine citizens for not wearing them.

It forms part of the measures within the royal decree to establish the guidelines that govern the New Normality. Wearing face masks is obligatory if a social distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, with fines of up to €100 if it is not observed.

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said that wearing face masks must ‘remain in place until we permanently defeat the virus, which is when we have an effective treatment or vaccine against it’.

Wearing face masks in Spain has been compulsory since 21 May for everyone aged over six in closed spaces (including shops and stores), as well as on the street and in public places, where social distancing cannot be maintained. It had initially been made compulsory to wear face masks on all public transport in Spain since Monday 4 May.

Health & safety measures – on-going

During the New Normality, the regional health authorities of Spain are still required to meet specific epidemiological criteria and maintain sufficient capacity in intensive care unit facilities, in case there is a sudden increase of infections again – as was required during the phased de-escalation plans.

Each region must also have the ability to carry out PCR tests on all suspected cases, as well as being able to isolate them and test all their contacts.

The New Normality guidelines also include the adoption of hygiene measures in the workplace, hotels and shops –such as the organisation of work stations and rotas to avoid large groups of people.

It also requires health controls at airports, as well as specifying the requirements for airlines and other transport groups to retain the details of all passengers for a month so that they can be identified and contacted in the event of further outbreaks related to their time of travelling.

The decree also sets out that authority over residential care homes has to be regularly coordinated with their respective regional health authorities.

REF:Spain English

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