Coronavirus

Coronavirus: What you can and can’t do during Spain’s lockdown

Spain is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus. Everything except supermarkets and pharmacies is closed and from Monday people will not be allowed to leave their homes except to get supplies or for exceptional reasons.

Everyone  in Spain, regardless of the region, will be expected to stay within their homes and police will be given the powers to stop and question people found outside and in vehicles using public roads.

Everyone in Spain has been told to stay inside their homes and there will be checkpoints manned by all branches of Spain’s security forces to enforce the orders. 

Members of the public who disobey confinement rules could faces fines starting at €100 for minor infractions or up to a year in prison should they “resist or seriously disobey the authorities or officers when they are carrying out their functions.”

Public transport will not be shut down entirely, although it will be reduced by fifty percent, presumably because it still provides the only way to move around for key workers.

People will only be allowed on the streets and to circulate in private cars under the following circumstances:

Everything will close except for food shops and pharmacies so you will be allowed to leave the house only to visit to those establishments to buy essentials. Strict measures will be in place at shops to prevent crowding and ensure that consumers and employees remain at least one metre apart from each other to reduce the risk of contagion.

Companies have been told to order their employees to work from home when possible but there are obviously some jobs which are essential, such as those who work in healthcare or care for the elderly or if you are employed in one of those places which are needed to be kept open, such as public transport, supermarkets or pharmacies.

If for some reason you are not at your home when the state of alert officially begins, you won’t have to stay where you are but will be allowed to travel back to your primary residence.

If you are responsible for someone who may live alone and need help, either because they are elderly, disabled or considered vulnerable in some way, you will be allowed to visit them and take them supplies.

Seeking medical treatment is a valid reason to leave the house but phone ahead to check the appointment is still happening as non-essential treatment at hospitals has in most cases been postponed. Do not leave the house to go to the hospital if you have symptoms of the coronavirus but stay home in quarantine and if the symptoms become severe then contact your regional hotline.

We are assuming this is to visit a cash point and take out money because high street banks won’t be opening their doors and operating as normal.

NO, the whole point is that people need to stay home and socially distance to try and slow down spread of COVID-19. 

All bars, restaurants, cultural spaces have been shut down across Spain and you’ll be stopped if you are spotted sitting in a park chatting with friends. The message is very clearly “Stay home and stay isolated”. 

You are not even allowed to visit your neighbours home or pop over to a friend’s for lunch. The idea is to stop all social interaction to try and slow the curve of contagion

In areas where supermarkets have been overwhelmed with people and have seen shelves emptied as panic buying set in, such as Madrid, police have been called in to limit numbers entering the supermarket and to prevent bulk buying of essential goods. 

Authorities insist there is no need to stockpile beyond buying enough to last the household for a week at a time, because the supplies are not threatened.

The state of alert will be in place for 15 days but could be extended with permission of Spain’s parliament.

As long as your reason for being outside the house falls under the rules above then yes, you can use public transport if you maintain social distancing rules that means keeping more than 1 metre apart from other travellers. 

But bear in mind that public transport services, including regional trains and buses, have had their service reduced by half.

Taxis and VTC services are also in operation although you must inform the drivers in advance if you have symptoms of the coronavirus.

No. Children’s playgrounds have been cordoned off, beaches have been closed and parks shut.  People are being told not to go outside to play sport, go for a jog or a bike ride. All such things are banned.

Yes.Those with dogs are allowed to walk them if they maintain basic social distancing rules such as maintaining a safe distance between other dogwalkers.  It can’t be used an excuse for the whole family to go outside though. Rules state that only one person can walk each dog, and that the walks should be kept to a minimum.

Yes. Rubbish collection is still taking place and taking your refuse out to the bins is allowed.  

Police stops and army on standby

Spain’s police forces will have the power to stop vehicles on public roads to check their purpose of being there and adds that drivers will be able to refuel at service stations.

The Decree adds that the army may be drafted in if deemed necessary.

Authorities have said that only those with valid reason can take to the roads and have ruled out people taking passengers in their car, even if the passengers and not the driver themselves have a valid reason (for example, you cannot take your partner to work).

Several readers have got in touch to ask whether this would apply to taking a house guest, friend or relative to the airport to catch their plane home.

That hasn’t been specified as a valid reason so until we get further clarification, don’t risk it.

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