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Shops, hair salons and bookstores reopen in Spain as rate of Covid-19 infections & deaths drop

Shops, hair salons and bookstores reopen in Spain as rate of Covid-19 infections & deaths drop
Spain has initiated the first phase of relaxing its coronavirus restrictions, allowing smaller retail establishments and services to resume, while still observing strict disease control protocols.

Shops, hair salons, beauty parlors, bookstores, and hardware stores with premises less than 400 square meters (4,305 square feet) are allowed to reopen on condition they maintain quarantine measures and distancing rules. The visits have to be pre-arranged by phone or email, however, and the stores must reserve a priority schedule for people over 65 years old during certain hours.

The stores were also ordered to provide hand sanitizers and trash bins, while their workers must disinfect the premises two times a day – and outlets like clothing stores must disinfect each item sold.

People can now pick up food from restaurants, though the establishments must provide sanitizers and minimize physical contact between customers and staff.

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As part of the continuing measures to limit further coronavirus infections, masks are now mandatory on all types of public transportation. People must also wear masks inside their own cars if the driver and all passengers are not living together. At least half of the seats on buses must remain empty, with social distancing strictly observed.

Spain is the second hardest-hit country in the world in terms of confirmed Covid-19 cases, after the US. The death rate in Spain has decreased to near pre-lockdown lows in recent days, with 164 people dying in the last 24-hour period reported on Monday – the same death toll as the day before. In total, 25,428 people have died from the novel coronavirus across the country.

The number of newly-recorded cases per day has, meanwhile, dropped below 400 for the first time since early March, with 356 new infections registered on Monday. In total, the country has had more than 218,000 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak.

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