National News

Plan For The Transition Towards a New Normal In Spain: Phase 1 Guide

The Spanish Health Ministry has published guidelines detailing the plan for a “transition towards a new normal,” phase 1, which Spain partially enters today following a drop in the number of COVID-19 casualties.

In this post, we outline the main points of the government guidelines:


  1. Wherever possible, teleworking is encouraged.
  2. In companies, shops, educational establishments, and other establishments where teleworking is not possible, necessary measures must be taken to comply with hygiene and prevention measures for workers.
  3. All workers must be provided with hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants with virucidal activity to clean their hands, or where this is not possible, soap and water in the workplace.
  4. Where a distance of interpersonal safety of approximately two metres cannot be guaranteed, workers must have adequate protective equipment.
  5. Another control system must replace fingerprint signing-in, or the signing device must be disinfected before and after each use.
  6. If a worker starts having symptoms compatible with the coronavirus, he or she must immediately contact the autonomous community health centre and, where appropriate, occupational risk prevention services.
  7. Where possible, the sick worker must put on a mask and must leave the workplace until his medical situation is assessed by a healthcare professional.
  8. Companies should adjust their time organisation to avoid too many workers in the workplace at the same time.


  1. It is permitted to travel within the province, island, or territorial unit of residence, but always respecting safety and hygiene measures, as well as maintaining a minimum safety distance of at least two metres.
  2. Groups should not exceed ten people, although this limit will not apply between cohabitants.
  3. During social contact with non-cohabitant third parties, the safety and hygiene measures established by the health authorities must be respected; i.e. a minimum safety distance of two metres or alternative physical protection measures if this is not possible, and frequent hand washing and the use of a mask.
  4. Wakes may take place with a maximum limit of 15 persons in outdoor spaces or ten persons in enclosed spaces, irrespective of whether they live together. The entourage for the deceased person is restricted to a maximum of 15 people, while always respecting the advised measures of distance and hygiene.
  5. Attendance at places of worship will be allowed as long as one-third of the hall capacity is not exceeded. A safety distance of at least one metre between people must be maintained. The maximum capacity must be displayed in a visible place in the space intended for worship.


  1. The reopening of premises and retail establishments with an area equal to or less than 400 square meters is allowed.
  2. Shops and premises must comply with the following rules:

– 30% of the total capacity in commercial premises.

– Ensure a minimum distance of two meters between customers.

– Provide a priority service for over 65s.

  1. Automotive dealers, MOT stations, and garden centres may reopen to the public, though preferably by appointment.
  2. When the relevant town halls decide, open-air markets may reopen. A limitation of 25% of the usual stalls and an influx of less than one-third of the usual capacity must be guaranteed.


  1. Outdoor terraces of catering and drinking establishments may reopen to the public, but with a limit of 50% of the usual tables.

The maximum occupancy permitted is ten people per table or group of tables.

  1. Between one customer and the next, terrace equipment, in particular tables and chairs, as well as any other contact areas, must be cleaned and disinfected.
  2. The use of single-use tablecloths is a priority, and dispensers of hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants with virucidal activity must be available for the public.
  3. Payment by card is encouraged, and the use of multiple-use menu cards avoided.
  4. In the case of services that do not permit maintaining interpersonal safety distance, workers must use protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk that ensures both their protection and that of the customer.


Social Services centres will reopen so face-to-face care of those citizens who need it can be carried out, paying special attention to therapy services, rehabilitation, and day care for people with disabilities.


  1. Educational and university centres can open for disinfection, and for fulfilling admin tasks while guaranteeing a physical safety distance of two metres between people.
  2. A cleaning and disinfection protocol must be in place which pays special attention to common areas and common contact surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, furniture, handrails, etc.
  3. The use of paper documents and their circulation should be limited as much as possible.
  4. Places of public service must have separation measures in place to divide school workers and visitors.
  5. University laboratories of a public and private nature that develop or support scientific and technical research may reopen.
  6. In all situations, the continuity of telework, work-alone schemes, or other adaptation of working hours is encouraged.
  7. Meetings, events, and seminars with a maximum of 30 attendees are allowed, with the physical distance of two meters between attendees observed. Non-face-to-face participation is encouraged where possible.
  8. Public and private libraries may reopen with a 30% reduction of capacity. But cultural activities that require using computers and computer media are forbidden.
  9. Museums may reopen their facilities to the public at a third of their capacity. Rooms or walking routes that do not allow the minimum safety distance will be excluded.
  10. Venues and establishments for cultural events and shows can reopen. In enclosed places, no more than 30 people per show are permitted. If outdoors, the maximum capacity is 200 people, provided space allows for safety requirements.
  11. No supplementary services such as shops, cafeterias, or cloakrooms will be provided at cultural events. Cleaning and disinfection of both enclosed spaces and outdoor venues must be carried out before each performance of the show.
  12. In the area of sports practice, the reopening of outdoor sports facilities, sports centres for individual sports, and training in professional leagues may commence.
  13. Active and nature tourism activities may be arranged for groups of up to 10 people, preferably by appointment.


  1. Hotel restaurants will only be open to hotel guests.
  2. Swimming pools, spas, gyms, mini clubs, children’s areas, nightclubs, event rooms, and spaces that are not essential for lodging will remain closed.
  3. Lifts must only be used when essential, and the maximum occupancy of a lift is one person, unless it is possible to guarantee two metres between people.
  4. Information posters must be displayed in the most commonly used languages of customers detailing restrictions on the use of facilities and hygiene standards.
  5. The reception or concierge must ensure a distance of two metres between workers and customers. Where this is not possible, protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk must be used.
  6. Before opening the property, the cleaning of all facilities, including common areas, service areas, rooms, and outdoor areas, is required.


  1. Hotels, establishments, shops, and premises open to the public will at least twice a day, be cleaned and disinfected. Special attention must be given to the most frequent contact surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, furniture, handrails, dispensing machines, floors, etc.
  2. Dispensing hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants with virucidal activity must be made available to customers.
  3. Work stations must be cleaned and disinfected at each shift change.
  4. Daily washing and disinfection of uniforms and work clothes is mandatory.
  5. In commercial establishments, elevators or goods lifts should only be used when essential.
  6. The distance between seller and customer shall be at least one metre when a protection barrier is available or two metres without a barrier.
  7. In the case of services that do not allow maintaining interpersonal safety distance, such as hairdressers, beauty salons, or physiotherapy, protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk must be used.
  8. The time spent in any establishment should not exceed that which is strictly necessary.
  9. In clothing shops, changing rooms are only to be used by a single person. After each use, the room should be cleaned and disinfected.
  10. Establishments and premises open to the public must display the maximum capacity permitted, and ensure the interpersonal distance of two metres, is respected within.


The municipal, regional, or special police inspection services, within the scope of their competences, are responsible for monitoring compliance with the measures contained in the Order of the Ministry of Health.

Persons who have symptoms are in home isolation or quarantine for a COVID-19 diagnosis, may not practice the more relaxed measures of phase 1 referred to above.