Publication of Law 2/2021 of March 29 on urgent measures to deal with the COVID-19 crisis
In the BOE of March 30, he published a new rule to deal with the health crisis caused by COVID-19, Law 2/2021, of March 29, relating to urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to cope to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, entering into force the day following its publication in the BOE, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 2 concerning the scope of application.
The law is structured in seven chapters, 31 articles, seven additional provisions, one repealing provision, eight final provisions and an annex.
Chapter I, Articles 1 to 5, includes the general provisions, i.e. the object and scope of the royal decree-law, the competent bodies, as well as the measures to be taken to avoid the generation of risks of propagation. of COVID-19 disease. Likewise, the adoption of action plans and strategies is planned to deal with health emergencies, through coordinated actions in public health, for the development of the various activities envisaged in the following chapters.
Chapter II is made up of Articles 6 to 16 and includes the maintenance of certain preventive and hygienic measures, such as the compulsory use of masks on public roads, in outdoor spaces and in enclosed spaces for public use or open to the public. , as well as in transport. Likewise, in this regard, the possibility is envisaged that the masks can be acquired individually in the pharmacy offices, which facilitates their access to the population. This measure, as well as the amendment established in the consolidated text of the Law on Guarantees and Rational Use of Medicines and Health Products, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2015 of July 24, allows access to masks in a non-abusive manner. economic conditions.
Similarly, this chapter considers the adoption of certain preventive measures in the workplace, such as the organization of jobs or the organization of teams to avoid crowds, as well as the maintenance of basic preventive and hygiene measures. in commercial establishments, in social residential centers, in hotels and tourist accommodation or in hotel and restaurant activities, among others
In the field of sport, for its part, the competence of the Higher Sports Council to apply these measures in certain professional competitions is recognized, once the organizer, the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities have heard of it; and depending on the concomitant circumstances and the necessary protection of the athletes and the public.
Chapter III, Articles 17 and 18, includes various provisions regulating the supply of seats and the volume of occupancy of passenger transport services by sea, rail and road, all of which fall within the competence of the State. Carriers with a pre-assigned seat number must keep passenger contact details available to public health authorities for at least four weeks, in order to trace contacts. Likewise, the head of the general direction of the merchant marine is empowered to order, on a proposal from the Ministry of Health, the adoption of sanitary measures for the control of ships, including cruise ships, which make international voyages. and navigate the waters. from the territorial sea to enter Spanish ports.
Chapter IV, Articles 19 to 21, contains measures relating to drugs, medical devices and products necessary for the protection of health. Among other aspects, it should be noted, in terms of drugs, the need to give continuity to measures of information provision, supply and manufacture of those considered essential for the health management of COVID-19. Likewise, to protect public health, its supply must be guaranteed in health centers and services, which requires a distribution capable of covering consumption with the necessary agility.
With regard to medical devices and biocides, essential measures are integrated to ensure the manufacture and availability of surgical masks, surgical gowns, hydro-alcoholic solutions and gels for hand disinfection and skin antiseptics healthy at an adequate rate. considerable volume of existing demand.
Articles 22 to 27 of Chapter V provide for measures for the early detection of the disease and the control of sources of infection and epidemiological surveillance. In this way, it is specifically pointed out that COVID-19, a disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is an urgently notifiable disease, a qualification which, in practice, should already be a sub -type of virus. of the SARS family (severe acute respiratory syndrome), and to be provided for in appendices I. 48 and II.1.B of Royal Decree 2210/1995 of 28 December which creates the national epidemiological surveillance network. Likewise, continuity is given to a series of obligations for the collection, processing and transmission of information, relevant epidemiological and health data that are relevant, always safeguarding the rights of protection of personal data, as well as the system set up for the collection and submission of information with the result of COVID-19 diagnostic tests by PCR or other COVID-19 diagnostic tests carried out by public and private laboratories, as well as by health centers, services and establishments who carry out the said tests in Spain, as a complement to the individualized surveillance system for COVID-19 cases.
Chapter VI, Articles 28 to 30, establishes a series of measures to guarantee the capacities of the health system in terms of human resources, emergency plans and information obligations.
Chapter VII, which is made up of Article 31, regulates the sanctions regime applicable in the event of non-compliance with the preventive measures and the obligations established in this law.
Regarding the changes in standards provided for by this law, it confirms the changes already made by previous royal decrees.