The use of masks for all aged 6yrs+ in Spain will continue after the state of alarm ends on the 21st June with fines of up to €100 for those not wearing them.

“In the new normality there is no central control,” said Health Minister Salvador Illa. “Regions in Phase 3 already have the power to lift the state of alarm when they consider it opportune.”

The Spanish cabinet have approved a decree for the ‘new normality’ which sets out Coronavirus measures after the state of alarm finishes on the 21st June. While we may all see that life is slowly resuming to normal, it is easy to forget that the Covid-19 Pandemic is not over and the need to follow safety measures.

New Normality - Use of Masks to Continue
New Normality - Use of Masks to Continue

“Every one of us is key in this pandemic. We cannot let our guard down. Until we have a vaccine, we have to maintain the precautions,” added the government’s spokesperson and finance minister, María Jesús Montero. “We cannot act lightly, thinking that everything is over and we are safe.”

Safety Measures

The use of masks will be obligatory for those aged 6 years and above unless you have any kind of respiratory disease or breathing difficulty in which case you will not have to wear a mask. Masks will be obligatory in all areas, both open air and in any closed spaces which are open to the public –  such as hotels, restaurants, shops etc. where it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres.

Public Transport

Masks will have to be used on all forms of transport by means of land, sea and air, including in public vehicles with up to nine passengers, such as taxis or private hire vehicles.

With regards to taxis, those residing in the same household are able to occupy a row of seats i.e. 3 people, those not from the same household remain at 2 people per row of seats.

In the case of ferries and other passenger vessels, masks will not be obligatory in cabins.

3.5 Million Masks 

3.5 million surgical masks and 35,000 protective suits purchased by the Health Service from China, have arrived in Mallorca in the Balearic Islands. The masks and suits are ready for distribution across the islands when required.

To date the Balearic Islands have received 25 million surgical masks, two million FFP2 masks, 21 million nitrile gloves, 282,408 surgical gowns, 337,900 protective overalls, 44,930 screens and 252,350 protective glasses.

Other Measures

Guaranteed Hospital Capacity

The decree also specifies other measures such as obligatory distances in the workplace, as well as the requirements for airlines and other transport companies to hold the details of all passengers for a month including where they sat so that they can be identified in the case of a positive coronavirus case being confirmed.

The decree requires regions to offer guarantees of hospital bed capacity and the ability to carry out PCR tests to detect coronavirus cases. “The health system will have to guarantee capacity to respond if there are rises in infections and the resulting rise in case numbers,” it reads. “To do so, it must have in place, or have access to, or have the capacity to, install between 1.5-2 intensive care beds for every 10,000 inhabitants, and between 37 and 40 beds for the seriously ill for every 10,000 inhabitants, in a maximum time frame of five days.”

Workplaces

Companies will have to “adapt the layout of work spaces, the organisation of shifts and working conditions so that a minimum safe interpersonal distance of 1.5 metres between employees can be guaranteed. When this is not possible, staff should be provided with protective equipment that is appropriate for the level of risk.”

For commercial premises, schools and other places of learning, the decree sets out very generic rules. “The adoption of organisational measures must be taken to avoid crowds and guarantee that customers and employees maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres. When it is not possible to maintain this safe distance, adequate hygiene measures must be observed in order to prevent the risks of infection.”