of non-essential workers are being allowed to return
to work this week after an extraordinary 11-day
enforced hibernation lockdown that shut down industrial
and construction sectors as the Spanish Government sought to
contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although
experts have raised concerns that it is still too soon
to lift these additional measures, the Government has
issued a series of guidelines on how to reduce
the risk of infection in the work-place, maintaining
the recommendation that working from home is still the best
option unless it is not possible to do so.
Sunday Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the
nation that Spain was not yet ready for de-escalation
and that confinement will continue, returning to the
original measures implemented when the State of Alarm
was implemented on March 14th. Thus, schools, bars,
restaurants, cultural venues and leisure centres all
remain closed and people should remain at home as much
as possible. However the enforced hibernation implemented
on March 30th has been lifted whilst protection measures
have been increased, including the distribution of 10
million masks on public transport systems and the issue
of a safety guide with recommendations to follow.
are split on the decision. Some argue that it's a modest
risk to lift the extreme confinement measures, that
there are fewer people who can spread the virus than
there were two weeks ago, whilst others have called
the decision as 'premature' and warned that a lack of
widespread testing means that de-escalation is going
to happen without knowing how many people have been
infected or how many people show no symptoms. However
there is a general agreement that the public are now
more aware of the measures needed to help reduce the
spread of infection.
guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health include
the following main recommendations:
go to work if you have symptoms - Coughing, fever
and difficulty in breathing are symptoms that could
be associated with the Covid-19 disease and those who
are concerned should ring the regional special hotline
with is 900-300-555 for further instruction. You should
not go to work until it has been confirmed
that you are not a risk to yourself or others. In addition,
anyone who has been in contact with someone who has
tested positive should stay at home for a minimum of
14 days to avoid spreading the infection.
private transport whenever possible - The use of
a private form of transport such as motorcycle or bicycle
to get to work - and even walking - helps to ensure
that a 2 metre separation distance is maintained, minimising
the risk of spreading the virus. A face mask is not
necessary. If a private car is used, it should be cleaned
regularly and no more than one person should be in the
front and back seats.
face masks on public transport - Hygienic face masks
UNE 0064-1 (UNE 0064-2 for children) should be
worn during journeys on buses, the Metro or intercity
train services. Bus drivers will be responsible for
monitoring capacity to ensure that passengers respect
distancing requirements. Face masks will be distributed
on public transport.
two metre distance - Companies which serve the public
should implement measures to minimum contact between
clients and its staff, placing controls at entrances
to ensure that the capacity is not exceeded and that
the two-metre distance can be respected at all times.
Online and card payments are preferred and partitions
between clients and staff which can be easily cleaning
and disinfected should be used whenever possible.
Businesses must provide personal protection equipment
(PPE) when risks cannot be avoided.
flexible hours - Companies should try and set more
flexible working hours and stagger timetables to avoid
large gatherings on public transport and when staff
enter and leave the workplace as well as if the workspace
does not allow a safe distance to be maintained during
the normal working day. In addition, clocking-in
systems which use digital fingerprint systems should
face masks when working around others - Face masks
should be worn when working with other people.
for more exposed people - Companies should provide
staff with enough PPE in their work means that they
are more exposed to the novel coronavirus, especially
gloves and face masks. These professions include doctors,
nurses, cleaning staff and public-facing workers.
service - All companies, regardless of their size,
must clearly identify their medical service so that
it can work quickly in collaboration with the public
health system to intervene on the ground.
recommendations - Companies must ventilate their
facilities for more than five minutes for at least once
a day. The temperature of the work place should be set
between 23°c and 26°c. Air filters should be
cleaned more frequently, soap dispensers, anti-bacterial
gel and paper towels should be maintain in proper order
and cleaning increased in all areas, especially on surfaces
and door knobs, whilst tables and counter must be disinfected
periodically. Workspaces should be cleaned after each
worker's shift. All these jobs must be done with a face
mask and disposable gloves.
uniforms in hot water - Workers should wash their
work clothes or uniform in a complete wash cycle at
a temperature between 60°c and 90°c. These clothes
should be taken off at the end of this shift and carried
in a sealed bag to their normal laundry.
Date: Monday 13th April 2020