19th October 2020
Salvador Illa
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‘New Normality’ decree approved as Health Minister warns ‘danger is still here’

The Spanish Congress approved the decree on Thursday that will regulate the ‘New Normality’ – and following on from the ‘state of alarm’ having concluded last Sunday.

The decree was approved with 265 votes in favour in the 350-seat Congress, supported by the People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos (Cs), Basque National Party, Más País, and other regional parties.

Catalan pro-independence parties voted against the initiative of the PSOEPodemos coalition government led by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. The far-right Vox party also voted against.

The decree set outs a framework for how regional governments should manage the health crisis, as they recover their powers from Phase Three of the government’s four phase de-escalation plan.

Salvador Illa
Health Minister Salvador Illa in the Spanish Congress on 25 June 2020. (Congreso.es)

The text includes measures that seek to prevent a new wave of Coronavirus (Covid-19) once the worst stage of the pandemic is over and states, among other things, that a social distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained.

Face masks are also compulsory if the safety distances cannot be respected. Regional health authorities must be able to carry out PCR tests on all suspected cases, maintain intensive care capacity at hospitals in the event of new outbreaks – and there must also be controls at airports.

In Congress, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said it was an ‘essential’ decree to keep the virus under control. He said that the measures were ‘necessary, proportionate, elaborated with the participation of the regions’ and with ‘a high degree of consensus’.

Illa also warned that the virus and ‘danger is still here’ with the appearance of localised outbreaks.

ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases for all regions.

Here is also a link to a 28-page PDF (in Spanish) from the Spanish Health Ministry, entitled the ‘Plan for a Transition towards the New Normality’.

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