Spain has begun to lift lockdown restrictions in a bid to return to normal life, but the process will be gradual.
At the beginning of May, the Spanish government published a set of new measures that are part of a gradual recovery plan to get the country out of the strict lockdown that was put in place in March in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country. Now that this period of reopening has begun and lockdown regulations are being gradually lifted, many questions are arising among residents in Spain about what can and can’t be done, and when. One of the main questions is when will travel between different parts of Spain be allowed? And when can we travel to second homes and holiday homes? Let’s have a look at what the government plan tells us.
Freedom of movement
Since the beginning of coronavirus quarantine in Spain, freedom of movement has been heavily restricted. Now that the recovery is underway, the idea is to gradually relax freedom of movement regulations in various different phases but limiting movement between provinces until the latter stages of the “de-escalation” process. Moving between provinces is forbidden and currently only permitted in the case of necessary work or extraordinary situations.
Travelling to second homes
This then means that what residents in Spain will not be able to do is travel to their second homes if they are in another province until the reopening process is basically complete, until at least phase 3. For future movement between provinces, it must be taken into account that the provinces will also advance in this de-escalation plan at different paces. Therefore, it will be necessary to wait until both your home province and the province in which your second home is located have entered phase 3 of the de-escalation plan. For example, if you live in Murcia but want to cross the border to Alicante, both provinces must have entered phase 3. This phase will begin on 8th June at the earliest.
Keep in mind, however, that from phase 1 you will be allowed to move within your home province and after some confusion and conflicting reports from the government, this also permits travelling to your second home, if it is within the province. Therefore, this will already be possible for some provinces that have successfully reached phase 1, depending on the progression of the area, whereas residents in other provinces will have to wait a little longer.
What about those who live abroad but own a holiday home in Spain?
Despite lockdown conditions across Spain and other countries, such as the UK, people are still thinking about their summer holidays and wondering if having a holiday in Spain this summer will be an option. Different popular holiday regions are working on plans to welcome tourists back to their areas, including beaches, but time frames for such projects are not yet known. So, although border regulations within Spain will gradually be lifted, the wait could be a little longer for tourists and holiday home owners from abroad. Both land and air border access is currently restricted to legal Spanish residents who have to make necessary trips and people without proof have been and will be turned away.
The advice from most foreign offices and consulates is the following: all but essential travel is not recommended. Keep in mind that many airlines are also still cancelling flights and not flying to the worst COVID-19 affected areas. Therefore, your summer holiday to Spain may have to wait, but as with all coronavirus news, things also change quickly and nothing is set in stone.