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Business and Government in Spain is an English language blog on legal issues regarding Spanish business and governmental affairs


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New normality in Spain

As we have mentioned in this blog previously, the extension of the State of Emergency finally ends on June 21st. But the fact that the pandemic has not been completely overcome requires the establishment of limitations by the competent health authorities (State at the basic and coordination level and Regional at the development level), in accordance with article 149.1.16 of the Spanish Constitution.

Thus the Royal Decree-Law of June 9th, 2020 is issued, determining restrictions of the “new normality”. Summarizing, masks are imposed whenever a social distance of 1.5 meters (roughly 5 feet) cannot be kept. However masks are not mandatory in individual outdoor sports and other exceptions. Separation and hygiene at work and hospitality are mandatory, Nevertheless we will enjoy total freedom of movement.

Without limitation we can transcribe and (unofficially) translate some of the sections of said Royal Decree-Law:

Social distancing
In any case, it must be ensured that the necessary measures are taken to guarantee a minimum interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters, as well as due control to avoid crowds. When it is not possible to maintain said safety distance, adequate hygiene measures will be observed to prevent the risks of contagion.

Article 6. Mandatory use of masks.
1. Persons six years of age and older are required to wear masks in the following cases:
a) On public roads, in open air spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public, provided that it is not possible to guarantee the maintenance of an interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters.
b) In transportation, whether by air, sea, bus, or train as well as public and private transport of passengers in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver, if the occupants of tourism vehicles do not live together at the same address. In the case of passengers of ships and boats, the use of masks will not be necessary when they are inside their cabin or on their decks or outside spaces when it is possible to guarantee the maintenance of an interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters.
2. The obligation contained in the previous section will not be enforceable for people who present some type of illness or respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated by the use of the mask or who, due to their situation of disability or dependency, do not have autonomy to remove the mask, or have problems of behaviour that make its use unfeasible.
Neither will it be required in the case of exercising individual sport outdoors, or in cases of force majeure or a situation of need or when, due to the very nature of the activities, the use of the mask is incompatible, according to the indications from the health authorities.
3. Single surgical masks can only be sold by Pharmacy Stores whereas they can be sold in packages in other places.

Article 7. Work centres.
1. Without prejudice to compliance with the occupational risk prevention regulations and the rest of the applicable labour regulations, the owner of the economic activity or, where appropriate, the director of the centres and entities, must:
a) Adopt adequate ventilation, cleaning and disinfection measures to the characteristics and intensity of use of work centres, in accordance with the protocols established in each case.
b) Make soap and water available, or hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants with virucidal activity, authorized and registered by the Ministry of Health for hands cleaning.
c) Adapt working conditions, including the management of work and the organization of shifts, as well as the use of common places so as to guarantee the maintenance of a minimum interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 meters between workers. When this is not possible, workers should be provided with protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk.
d) Adopt measures to avoid massive coincidence of people, both workers as customers or users, in the work centres during the times of foreseeable greater influx.
e) Adopt measures for the progressive reintegration in person to the jobs and the promotion of the use of teleworking when, due to the nature of the work activity, it is possible.

Article 11. Commercial establishments.
The relevant branch of Government must ensure compliance by the owners of the commercial establishments of retail or wholesale sale of any kind of articles of the gauging, disinfection, prevention and conditioning regulations that they determine.
Relevant authorities shall will pay special attention to the particularities of malls as well as open air and street markets.

Article 12. Hotels and tourist accommodation.
Relevant authorities must ensure compliance by the owners of hotels and similar accommodation, tourist accommodation, university residences and the like, and other short-stay accommodation, camping sites, caravan parks and other similar establishments, of the capacity, disinfection, prevention regulations. and conditioning that those determine.

Article 14. Cultural facilities, public shows and other recreational activities.
Relevant authorities must ensure compliance by the holders of cultural facilities, such as museums, libraries, archives or monuments, as well as by the holders of establishments for public shows and other recreational activities, or by their organizers, of the capacity regulations , disinfection, prevention and conditioning that those determine.


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