surinenglish

'New normal' decree establishes masks and distancing rules for Spain for weeks to come

Face masks in the street will be normal in Spain for weeks to come.
Face masks in the street will be normal in Spain for weeks to come. / EFE
  • Controls over measures against Covid-19 are now largely back in the hands of the regional governments

Spain entered its "new normal" last Sunday (21 June) after the nationwide state of alarm ended at midnight after 99 days.

The central government's 'nueva normalidad' decree, which establishes basic rules for this new period, was passed in Congress this week. The decree maintains the obligation to wear face masks outside the home, always on public transport and anywhere where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5m from other people.

Fines of up to 100 euros can be issued for not wearing a mask and the enforcement of the regulation is in the hands of regional and local authorities.

All other regulations concerning lockdown are now in the hands of the regional authorities.

As a result, the Junta de Andalucía regional government approved 400 health regulations last Friday which saw restrictions further relaxed locally.

Bars are now able to fill their outdoor terraces to 100% normal capacity and serve 75% of their usual tables inside. Communal areas of hotels and other tourist accommodation will still be restricted to 50% capacity, however, "not the 75% imposed in other regions, as a precaution," according to Junta president Juanma Moreno.

Weddings can now take place with a maximum of 300 guests if held outdoors and 250 if indoors.

The Junta's recommendation not to hold fairs and festivals during July and August remains in place, but fair attractions with a 50% capacity and open-air concerts with up to 1,500 attendees are allowed, albeit only with town hall permission.

Like restaurants and bars, businesses that until now have been limited to 50% capacity can increase it to 75%. Cinemas, theatre and concert halls can fill to 65%.

The end of the state of alarm means no more restrictions on movement within the country. If there are localised outbreaks, regional governments will need a court order to impose any more local movement restrictions.