Spain’s PM says 450,000 lives saved by State of Alarm as country moves into new normality

From midnight, Spain enters ‘new normality’ after 98 days in State of Alarm.

IN a live address to the nation this afternoon, PM Pedro Sanchez said “it’s time to put the country back on its feet”, while announcing measures taken over the last three months have saved more than 450,000 lives.

But what exacatly does ‘new normality’ mean and what changes can we expect once the sixth and final extension to State of Alarm comes to an end.

Regions will now be responsible for managing much of the crisis themselves, but in the main, from tomorrow, social-distancing of 1.5 metres, hygiene protocol and obligatory mask use will remain in force across the country until a vaccine for coronavirus is found.

One of the major changes will be the lifting of mobility restrictions in Spanish territory, without having to justify the reasons for travel.

However, director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts, Fernando Simón, said we still need to be aware of the risks and while the public is now resonsible for their own actions, “journeys should not be made if they are unnecessary”.

In the new normal, prevention and hygiene measures must be implemented in the workplace, with a rota put in place to avoid crowding.

And airports will have to put health and safety controls in place as national and international flights progress to normality.

Sanchez has said borders with the rest of the world will gradually begin to open on July 1 only if there is an epidemiological situation similar to or better than that of EU member states, along with specified health conditions in the origin, journey and destination of the traveller.

Other requirement include a reciprocal acceptance of visitors from the EU.

In the event of a resurge in infections, localised lockdowns will be possible, but a new State of Alarm would be required for confinement on a national or state level – which the government has indicated it will use again if necessary.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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