The New Normal

After 98 days on lockdown under a nationwide State of Alarm, Spain this week returns to the ‘new normal’. Each autonomous community has a differing set of rules (outlined below) although some regulations (such as the wearing of masks in public places where maintaining two metres distance is not possible) are common across all communities.
The priority in many areas will be to kickstart local economies and ease many of the restrictions that have impacted the daily lives of people.
A big change this week is the absence of restrictions on driving. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), while it does not foresee major traffic jams, warns of the “temptation” to step on the accelerator and of “compulsive driving” after the long period of restricted travel.
Central government does not hide the fact that there is widespread concern about the risk of further outbreaks and has decided to strengthen the National Health System (SNS) with more financial resources.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, underlined this when asking the country not to let its guard down in this ‘new normal’ period because “the virus can return and it can shake us again in a second wave, and it must be avoided at all costs”, he said in a statement on the last day of the state of alarm.
The end of the state of alarm means that all the autonomous communities now recover their powers. Therefore, each area has developed its own guide to the rules of this new phase in which there is still uncertainty and the fear due to the lack of a vaccine against covid-19. The autonomous communities and not central government will take control of the number of clients allowed in hostelry establishments and will regulate control measures that will impact the likes of nightlife, dining and socialising.

Andalusia: The community enters the ‘new normal’ phase with the introduction of up to 400 new regulations. Authorities there forecast is that “the new normal” will be in effect until next spring. The capacity of establishments and shops increases to 75% inside and 100% on terraces. In the case of swimming pools and hotels it is 50%, 65% in cinemas and concert halls. Outdoor concerts will have a maximum capacity of 1,500. In the case of funerals, up to 60 people may attend if they are outdoors, 30 inside. Fairs and festivals are not recommended.
Aragon: Maximum capacity for establishments will be 75%, provided they are not nightlife venues. In this case, the capacity will be half and the dance floors must be occupied by chairs and tables. Children’s play areas are now open again. Patron saint festivities are postponed.
Asturias: Nightlife venues can be opened again with a capacity of 50% but without a dance floor. Catering establishments can be opened to their full capacity. With regard to parties, they have been classified by three types of risk (high, medium, low). On July 5, festivals, pilgrimages and attractions will be allowed to return. In the case that they are of high risk they will be prohibited; with medium risk they will have a 75% capacity and with low risk the accepted personal protection measures would suffice. Organizers themselves will determine the risk level of the events. Playgrounds also open with these regulations, and shopping centres will have a limited capacity of 50% in common areas.
Balearic Islands: Pubs, restaurants or venues with a capacity of more than 300 people may not yet open, the remainder will be allowed to open at 75% capacity. On the beach there will have to be more than four square meters for each swimmer and no more than 30 people can gather per group.
Canary Islands: The rule of four square meters on the beach also applies here. Bars and restaurants will not have a capacity limit, but shops will be limited to 75%. Patron saint festivities will not take place.
Cantabria: A general limit of 75% will be maintained in hotels, shops and cultural facilities, a percentage that drops to 50 in hostels, tourist facilities and nightlife venues. Sports events may not have gatherings more than 300 people indoors and a thousand outdoors. On beaches, showers and footbaths will only be used by one person at a time.
Castilla-La Mancha: With the intention of not confusing citizens, the regional government has decided to limit the capacity to 75% in practically all premises and public services.
Castilla-León: The community, very affected by the virus due to its proximity to Madrid, has decided to prohibit any event and meeting where the safety distance of 1.5 meters between people cannot be maintained. In the hospitality sector bars are reopened although the capacity is limited to 75%. Nightclubs must place tables on dance floors and will have attendance limited to one third. Pools may open to 75% and sports competitions without physical contact are allowed.
Catalonia: From June 25 there will be no limited capacity in establishments. At outdoor events, the safety distance of 1.5 meters must be respected, although it can be lowered if a mask is used and there will be a register of attendees, sector spaces and a maximum of 2,000 people.
Comunidad Valenciana: The Valencian community will keep most of the measures of phase 3 of the de-escalation, such as the obligation to limit the capacity to 75% or even 60% in the case of shopping centres. Open air events may not have more than 800 people and funerals will have a limit of 50 people in open spaces and 25 in closed places.
Extremadura: The new normal phase will be divided into two periods. In the first stage, which lasts until July 31, the capacity limitations are 50% as a general rule, rising to 75% from August.
Galicia: Galicia was the first autonomous region to launch fully into the ‘new normal’ last Monday. 75% capacity in general public areas, 80% in terraces and 50% in common areas of shopping malls. Outdoor events will have a maximum of 1,000 people seated or 300 if the event is held indoors.
La Rioja: The regional government has adopted a policy of not limiting capacity in spaces where it is possible to maintain distances. Large events are limited to 75%. All events will have to be by appointment to allow, if necessary, the tracking of attendees. In bullrings there may be up to 1,000 people while the pools will have a 75% capacity limit.
Madrid: The Community of Madrid announced on Friday its plan to advance to the new normality without going through phase 3. Between this Sunday and July 5, all businesses will have their internal capacity limited to 60% (80% in terraces of bars and restaurants). From July 6, that percentage will increase to 75% (100% in terraces). Discotheques will continue to be closed until at least July 5. Playgrounds are open again.
Murcia: The region will allow hotels to operate with all its rooms open, although in common spaces the capacity will be limited to 75%. Weddings may have 500 outdoor attendees (200 inside) and funerals with 50 (30 indoors).
Navarra: Despite the fact that many protested against the cancellation of the renowned San Fermin celebrations, the community prohibits all large-scale patron saint festivities. Almost all other activities will be allowed once more, although with limitations similar to other communities such as limiting the capacity to 75% in the hospitality industry, maximum groups of 25 people and the holding of large events with up to 1,000 attendees outdoors and 500 inside.
Basque Country: The Basque Country has reopened parks and recreational areas, although a space of 4 square metres for each person must be guaranteed. On public transport, 100% of the capacity is allowed but always with a mask. In open-air cultural shows, pilgrimages, dance or music exhibitions and parades, the maximum capacity will be 1,000 attendees, the same as in sports events in open spaces, such as cycling, rowing or athletics. In closed spaces this figure is reduced to 300 people. Discotheques and the rest of nightlife venues resume their activity with 60% of their capacity.