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Face masks to be compulsory beyond state of alarm

Safety distances and cleaning of public spaces also obligatory after June 21, but mobility restrictions within Spain to be lifted

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09 June 2020 03:28 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The so-called 'new normality', that is, the period beyond June 21 when the state of alarm will be lifted, already has its regulations.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Spanish government approved a decree that includes several measures that are to be in force until "there is an effective treatment" and the cabinet decides that Covid-19 no longer poses a serious risk.

One of these measures makes the use of face masks compulsory in public when it is not possible to keep a 1.5-meter safety distance. If this is not heeded, people will run the risk of having to pay a fine.

Other measures include the need to respect safety distances, to have people wash their hands frequently and to clean public spaces.

Health checks in public transport, such as at airports, will be in operation, while the government says Spain's High Council of Sports (CSD, in Spanish) will decide whether the public will be allowed into football and basketball stadiums again for La Liga and ACB competitions.

Speaking to the press, health minister Salvador Illa said that there will be no travel restrictions within Spain once the lockdown is finally lifted on June 21. "We trust citizens to be responsible," he stated.

Decree's impact on Catalonia's self-rule

Illa dismissed the idea that the new decree would imply seizing any of the Catalan government's powers, as pro-independence parties fear.

The Catalan executive has repeatedly complained that the three-month state of alarm has seen Spain take over Catalonia's key services.

As of yet, the Spanish cabinet has reached an agreement on the decree with Ciudadanos, one of the parties most staunchly against greater self-rule or independence for Catalonia.

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  • Salvador Illa, Spanish health minister, speaking in a press conference in March, 2020 (by Andrea Zamorano)

  • Salvador Illa, Spanish health minister, speaking in a press conference in March, 2020 (by Andrea Zamorano)

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