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The Spanish Government has published a set of five orders in the Official State Gazette (BOE) which set out of the new measures that go into effect today Monday as part of the controlled transition of the country towards a new normality as it recovers from a virulent attack by the coronavirus over the past two months. The orders also detail the conditions that individual regions must meet in order to progress along the much-vaunted four-step de-escalation plan to phase out the lockdown measures which have been in place since mid-March.

Perhaps the most important is the opportunity for small businesses to re-open, albeit by appointment only with customers needing to request a time via telephone or online facility such as email. Retail and commercial premises with a floor space smaller than 400 square metres can open but these premises need to be cleaned and disinfected twice a day, including at the end of trading. Customers can enter the premises so long as there is one employee per customer but toilet facilities are off-limits unless it is for an emergency. If size and layout of the premises cannot guarantee social distancing of at least two metres, face masks must be worn and all businesses must have an authorised hand sanitizer available at all times for both customers and staff. Some hair salons have already erected plastic partitions between chairs and the stylists themselves have been wearing both face masks and full face guards. Businesses selling clothing and shoes must disinfect items after every use and changing rooms can be used by individuals only and cleaned and disinfected each time they are used. Customers over the age of 65 must be allocated their own timetable which corresponds to the time slot allocated for the over-70s (10.00-12:00 and 19:00-20:00).

Bars and restaurants have already been allowed to make home deliveries but starting today Monday, they can also offer a take-away service from the premises so long as the required safety measures are met. Orders need to be made in advance by telephone or online so that the business can set a specific time for collection to avoid crowding in the vicinity of its premises. The customer can remain inside the premises only for as long as it takes to collect the order and the two-metre social distancing requirement must be observed. If this is not possible in smaller premises, they will have to operate a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy to control access, except for those customers accompanied by a minor, dependent person or senior citizen. Premises can remain open to the public only during the order collection period. Drive-Thru take-away services are permitted so long as the customer does not leave their vehicle.

In terms of the phased de-escalation, autonomous regions have until 2.00pm on Wednesday to present its proposal for moving forward with the transition plan which includes tentative dates for the adoption of the different measures of each phase. Remember that the six-week four-phase timetable outlined by the Spanish Government last week was the 'best-case scenario' for de-escalation and each region could enter each phase at different times. Today the islands of Formentera, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa have moved into Phase 1 whilst the rest of the nation remains in Phase 0. In order to progress, each region must meet a number of requirements regarding the capacity of its health system and the strategic plan for isolation and control of potential outbreaks of new infection, the full details of which can be read in BOE 4792.

Other orders include mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport, the lifting of restrictions on renovation work on private homes and business premises subject to certain conditions, the re-opening of archives for research subject to certain conditions, and the lifting of restrictions for professional athletes and federated sports people, subject to certain conditions.

The full text of the orders can be viewed online here.

Source: Original from various sources
Date: Monday 4th May 2020





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