Get us in your inbox

Measures for 'the new normal'
Photograph: Shutterstock

Barcelona's 'new normal': what you need to know

On June 21, Spain's state of emergency ended, and on June 22 a new phase began in Barcelona, with fewer restrictions

Jan Fleischer
Written by
Marc Andreu
Jan Fleischer

After months of confinement, followed by various phases of de-escalation, the Spanish government set June 21 as the day to end the state of emergency. Barcelona came out of this surreal episode in our lives and into what has been dubbed the new normal on the same day, along with the entirety of Spain. This is a bigger deal than previous changes from phase to phase because there is no end date at the moment, and the measures are to be in place indefinitely.

How are our 'new' lives to be? 
After some three months of isolation, progressive de-escalation, working from home, wearing masks, and general panic, it's clear that our daily lives have already changed. Is that forever? Maybe, but for now these are the main ideas to understand the new normal.

Keep your distance (of 1.5 metres)
Until now the minimum safe distance we've had between us has been 2 metres, but now we can move a bit closer, as the recommendation is to keep a metre and a half between you and the next person. That's good news for bars and restaurants, as they can add tables back to their terraces.

Wear a mask or get a fine
The battle is over and the 'wear a mask' camp has won. The Spanish government says the use of a mask is obligatory when you cannot guarantee a distance of 1.5 metres between you and the next person in public, even in outdoor spaces such as in the street, and when you can't be sure of the physical distance in closed spaces. Wearing a mask is always mandatory and without exception on public transport and in cars if passengers do not live together. Not complying with these rules can make you the recipient of a €100 fine.

Work from home or in shifts
The Spanish government is aware that the minimum safe distance between people can't be guaranteed in the majority of workplaces, so it has proposed that employers organise shift work to avoid having too many people in one place at one time, as well as interpersonal safety. It also recommends, whenever possible, that employees continue to work from home.

Priority and urgent care
The Ministry of Health has announced that the virus is considered an illness that takes top priority and requires urgent care. Plus, the autonomous regions of Spain have a duty to provide information when similar emergency situations occur and guarantee proper tests in all suspected cases.

Free movement as of June 21
The question of free movement was still in doubt until the last minute, but it was finally confirmed that from June 21, travel throughout Spain is possible, including throughout Catalonia, which previously was scheduled to remain in Phase 3, but advanced with the rest of Spain.

    You may also like