THE Spanish government has approved a decree for the ‘new normal’ that will come into effect on June 22.

Health Minister, Salvador Illa announced earlier today that the ‘new normal’ phase will be in place until the government declares ‘that the crisis is over’.

In theory what that translates to is that the ‘new normal’ phase will be in place until the government feels that the pandemic is truly under control, or a vaccine is developed.

The government’s spokesperson and Finance Minister, Maria Jesus Montero said: “We cannot let our guard down, we cannot act lightly, thinking that everything is over and we are safe.

“Until we have a vaccine, we have to maintain the precautions.”

The decree includes the obligatory use of face masks in closed public spaces where a 1.5 metre social distancing rule cannot be observed, with fines up to €100 for those that don’t stick to it.

The government hasn’t made their use in outdoor spaces obligatory, but if a sudden spike is recorded, then they will become compulsory everywhere.

This comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) changed its stance recently and published a new set of guidelines suggesting that face masks should be worn all the time in public.

However, the application of the restrictions and the measures will fall on regional authorities, which from Phase 3 onwards hold all autonomous powers, bar freedom of movement.

“In the new normal there is no central control,” said Illa. 

“Regions in Phase 3 already have the power to lift the state of alarm when they consider it right to do so.”

The legislation sets out that authority over care homes will have to be constantly coordinated with their respective regional health authorities.

In addition, it sets out prevention measures to reduce the risk of contagion in the workplace, schools, hotels and stores.

It also specifies the requirements for airlines and other transport companies to hold the details of all passengers for a month including where they sat so that they can be identified in case they test positive for the virus.

Regions will also have to prove that they have enough hospital beds and the capacity to carry out PCR tests to detect COVID-19 cases.

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