Now that the coronavirus crisis is under control, Spain has entered a new de-escalation phase.
After 14 weeks of strict lockdown measures, the ‘state of alert’ finally ended at midnight on June 21.
The new phase, known as the “new normality”, sees the lifting of mobility restrictions, but some health and safety measures will remain in place. The measures include the compulsory wearing of face masks when a safe distance of 1.5 metres is not possible.
Responsibility for safety measures will now rest with the regional governments and will remain in place until the pandemic is considered to be over.
Check back with us regularly for the LATEST NEWS updates re: changes to safety measures, travel arrangements, quarantine and much more
AUGUST 25: Autonomous regions can request ‘state of alert’; contract tracing support from military & government app
- In a press conference today, Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez offered regional premiers the authority to request their own ‘state of alert’, firmly putting the authority back with the regions. Sánchez said the progress of the coronavirus curve was worrying and that it “needed to be tackled”.
- In Catalonia and Madrid – two of the worst affected areas for new cases – the Prime Minister has offered the support of the military to aid with contract tracing.
- Regional authorities are being encouraged to roll out the use of a new contract tracing app, created by the government. If widely used by the public, the ‘Radar Covid’ app is expected to reduce the impact of the pandemic by 30%. The app does not require the supply of personal data, so personal privacy is protected.
AUGUST 14: Health Minister announces new measures to curb the spread of the virus
Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, today announced a ban on smoking in outside public spaces and closure of nightclubs, discos & music bars.
Illa said that smoking is only allowed in open public spaces as long as a safe distance of 2 meters can be maintained.
In hospitality premises, a minimum safe distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained at bars & tables, with a maximum of 10 people only at each table.
All establishments, including bars and restaurants, will have to close at 1:00 am & no new patrons will be allowed entry after midnight.
For more on this story, read Spain in English: https://www.spainenglish.com/2020/08/14/spain-imposes-new-measures-on-nightlife-bans-smoking/
AUGUST 7: Guidance for wearing masks
The Spanish government has issued advice about wearing masks, in order to keep the population safe from coronavirus.
- Wash your hands first
- Make sure your mask is in good condition
- Wear the mask the right way round:
- Metal strip at the top
- Coloured side on the outside
- Make sure to cover your nose, mouth & chin
- Ensure the mask fits correctly, with no gaping
- Don’t touch the mask while wearing (except for the straps)
- Replace mask after a maximum of 4 hours wear
JULY 18: Wearing of masks now mandatory in the Valencian Community
Following the example set by many other Spanish regions, the wearing of masks became mandatory today in the Valencian Community. The decision was taken due to the four-fold increase in the number of infections of 20 to 40-year olds.
Masks will be compulsory at all time, with the following exceptions:
- on the beach or in a swimming pool
- in outdoor areas such as the countryside or the mountains
- in bars & restaurants
- for those with respiratory problems
- whilst taking part in sports activities
JULY 14: Many Spanish regions implement mandatory face coverings
A number of regional governments are making the wearing of face masks compulsory in public spaces. The following regions have either made face coverings mandatory or are about to:
- Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria, Navarre, La Rioja, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Extremadura, Andalusia & Murcia
In the Valencia region, the option is being seriously considered – a decision will be reached shortly.
For more on this story, read El Pais: https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2020-07-13/with-over-100-coronavirus-outbreaks-more-spanish-regions-make-face-masks-mandatory.html
June 30: Spain prepares to open its borders
As part of reciprocal arrangements between the European Union & 15 other countries, Spain will open its borders from July 1.
The named countries have been selected based on the epidemiological situation in each country, which must have a similar or lower contagion rate than the European average for every 100,000 inhabitants for 14 days.
The named countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China will also be included, but only if visitors from the EU receive reciprocal treatment.
For more on this story, read El Pais: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-06-30/as-eu-prepares-to-reopen-borders-spanish-experts-stress-importance-of-coronavirus-safety-measures.html
June 21: All of Spain enters the ‘New Normality’
The ‘state of alert’ has officially ended after 24 weeks of lockdown measures. Whilst many restrictions have been removed, 4 essential rules remain:
- Social distancing of 1.5 meters
- Compulsory wearing of face masks when social distancing measures cannot be maintained
- Hand washing/sanitising
- Hygiene in public & private spaces
Travel between provinces is now allowed, and travel from EU countries/UK is now permitted, without quarantine, with the exception of Portugal (to follow shortly).
June 21: Brits can visit Spain without quarantine
Spain’s Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez, has announced that with immediate effect, British citizens can travel to Spain from today, without facing quarantine measures. British visitors will need to:
- Provide contact information & any history of Covid exposure
- Undergo a temperature check & a visual health assessment
For full travel details re Spain, checkout this EU webpage, updated in real time – use the icons on the right to scroll around transport options: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP
Currently this decision is a unilateral one, & we await confirmation regarding quarantine measures for Brits returning from Spain to the UK.
Read more on this story in El Pais here: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-06-20/no-quarantine-for-uk-travelers-entering-spain-foreign-minister-confirms.html
Spanish Department of Health travel page has useful travel/health information about including the online travel form: https://www.spth.gob.es/
Worldometers monitor the number of cases & death tolls, by country: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 death toll projections for Spain: https://covid19.healthdata.org/spain
For updates about the lockdown rules – Boletín Oficial del Estado: https://www.boe.es/index.php?lang=en
The Spanish government website has all the latest news from Spain, in English: https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/Paginas/index.aspx
N322 Road Safety Association has a wealth of information about lockdown measures on their Facebook page:
European Commission coronavirus home page: https://ec.europa.eu/health/coronavirus_en
WHO specific information on Spain: http://www.euro.who.int/en/countries/spain
WHO specific information on UK: http://www.euro.who.int/en/countries/united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland
Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs & Social Welfare: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/home.htm
Spanish Ministry of the Environment: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/ministerio/medidas-covid19/
UK Foreign Office travel advice for Spain: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
Brits in Spain (British Embassy in Madrid) Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/
Brits in Spain website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#coronavirus