The Community of Madrid updates and expands its preventive measures against the coronavirus

Preventive measures against the coronavirus
Nightlife establishments will have to put their activities on hold as of midnight tonight. Smoking will be banned on public roads squares and in outdoor spaces where minimum social distancing is not possible. Food consumption is temporarily banned on the Community of Madrid’s collective public transport vehicles.

The Community of Madrid has updated and expanded its preventive measures against the coronavirus, under a new Order issued by the Department of Health and published today in the Official Bulletin of the Community of Madrid –BOCM - in response to a change in trend, with most cases involving young people and outbreaks associated with celebrations, requiring the adoption of control measures that will come into force tomorrow, Thursday.

The declared coordinated initiatives will focus on controlling the transmission of the illness in areas that are currently the source of epidemic outbreaks. They will essentially focus on nightlife, hospitality establishments, social-health centres and social gatherings.

Most of the action measures proposed by the Ministry of Health and agreed on at the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System last Friday had already been adopted and implemented within the territorial area of the Community of Madrid under Department of Health Order 668/2020 of 19 June and its successive amendments. They need to be amended again, however, for the purposes of complying with and adapting to the provisions of the declaration of coordinated public health initiatives ordered by the Ministry of Health.

As for the prevention and hygiene measures of general application for the population as a whole, besides social distancing and hand hygiene, it will now be mandatory for everyone over the age of six years to wear a mask on public roads and squares, in outdoor spaces and in any enclosed space that is for public use or open to the public, irrespective of the possibility of maintaining social distancing.

This will also apply on air, bus and rail transport, as well as complementary public and private passenger transport in vehicles with up to nine seats, and to drivers as well, where vehicle occupants do not live together at the same address.

Provided social distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained, it will not be mandatory for masks to be worn by individuals doing sports activities outdoors; in nature areas or in the open air outside population centres; in swimming pools (when swimming) and while staying within a specific area, without moving around it; at work centres, exclusively when workers remain seated at their workplace; when parties are talking at any type of legal proceedings.

FOOD ON TRANSPORT

The Order bans the consumption of food on public transport vehicles and buses and trains belonging to the Regional Transport Consortium of the Community of Madrid, to prevent users from removing their masks (to eat).

Another recommendation, as a precautionary measure, is for masks to be worn in private areas, whether open or closed, during meetings or at a possible get-together of people who do not live together, even where social distancing can be ensured and participation is limited to a maximum number of ten people, unless those people live together. Even so, the public is advised to reduce their social encounters outside their stable household group.

TOBACCO

At the same time, smoking will be banned on public streets and squares and in open spaces, including hospitality establishment terraces, when a minimum social distancing of at least 2 metres cannot be maintained. This restriction will also apply to the use of any other tobacco-inhalation device, water pipe, hookah and the like.

For their part, the competent public authorities will strengthen their controls and surveillance for preventing activities that are banned on the public roads and squares, such as the unauthorised consumption of alcohol.

HOSPITALITY, RESTAURANT AND NIGHTLIFE ESTABLISHMENTS

Seating capacities in hospitality and restaurant establishments may not exceed 75%, in contrast to terrace restaurant and café seating which may be occupied at 100%. In both cases, the maximum occupancy per table or table group will be ten people and a guaranteed social distancing of at least 1.5 metres will have to be maintained between customers or customer groups and between tables or table groups. Activities inside and outside premises must cease at 1 am, and under no circumstances may new customers be admitted after midnight.

Banquet halls, in addition to having to comply with the above conditions and restrictions, will also have to require identification details from everyone attending an event, including contact telephone numbers, and keep hold of such information in case it is required by the health authorities, when investigating an epidemic outbreak, to provide locations where positive, probable or possible cases of COVID-19 are subsequently detected. The collection of such data will require the consent of data subjects and have to be kept for a period of twenty-eight calendar days.

Nightlife establishments (discotheques, dance halls and special bars with or without music performances) must suspend their activity for as long as the declaration of coordinated public health initiatives remains in force.

SOCIO-HEALTH CENTRES

In accordance with the Order Communicated from the Minister of Health on 14 August, visits will be limited to one person per resident, with extra preventive measures taken and for a maximum duration of one hour per day, and visits to residents will have to be spread out at intervals throughout the day. In addition, departures of residents from social health centres will be restricted, depending on the Community’s epidemiological situation and the centre’s serological features.

These measures may be waived for people during their end-of-life process and in palliative care situations, in accordance with the instructions described in the end-of-life care protocol for patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes.