Catalonia will enter a new phase in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday at midnight, as it prepares to exit the Spanish-led state of alarm after the Catalan government regained control of all its regions.

On June 18, the regions of Barcelona and Lleida reached Phase 3 of the Spanish government’s de-escalation plan—the last stage of the process, when regional governments regain full control of key sectors in the fight against Covid-19.

While the state of alarm officially ends on June 21, the Catalan government has decided to speed up the de-escalation and announce a set of measures for the so-called “new normality”, after president Quim Torra signed a decree putting an end to the state of alarm in Catalonia.

2.5 m2 interpersonal safety area

The most important measure announced by the Catalan government will come into force on June 25 with the replacement of the capacity percentages for indoor and outdoor spaces with an ubiquitous 2.5-square meter interpersonal safety area—the equivalent of the 1.5-meter safety distance.

President Torra criticized that previous regulations based on percentages were unclear and seemingly contradictory. “Setting a single criteria is positive and fairer for everybody,” he said.

“It’s a paradigm change. Whether you’re entering an indoor or outdoor space, you should be able to see if security distances are being respected,” said Alba Vergés, the health minister of the Catalan government.

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