Coronavirus: updated state of alarm regulations in Spain

The list of what residents in Spain can and can’t do during this time of coronavirus quarantine has been corrected and updated with tighter regulations: going out in a group is now prohibited.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash
Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash
20 March 2020, Emma Donaldson

Coronavirus cases in Spain continue to rise and with no immediate end in sight of the pandemic or lockdown, the government has updated decree law detailing the measures of the state of alarm ("estado de alarma") that was implemented in Spain last Saturday. Shortcomings in the regulations have been rectified and other regulations clarified: let’s have a look at the changes.

Going out in a group

The first amendment states that people are not allowed to go shopping or to work in a group (i.e. you must go alone). While the original decree regulating the state of alarm specified the exceptional situations for which home confinement may be interrupted, the original wording did not explicitly state that going out with other people was forbidden. This shortcoming in the text has now been updated.

Going out with children or the elderly

Another issue that has been clarified concerning freedom of movement is going out with children, as it was not initially clear if children could accompany a parent to the supermarket. However, this update in the regulations states that, if necessary, it is possible to go shopping with children or in the company of elderly or disabled people. Remember that the elderly are in the group of those most at risk from coronavirus so take the necessary precautions to prevent spread of the disease as much as possible.

Travelling by car

The government has also stated that each car may only have 1 occupant. One additional passenger may accompany the driver if they can present a justified reason, but in this case, the passenger must always sit in the back seat of the vehicle with both passengers wearing a mask. Police checks will be carried out and the corresponding fine given to those who do not abide by the law or those who cannot provide appropriate justification.

Other amendments

The new version of the rule also includes a ban on going to the park, the countryside or the beach. This clarification was made due to the fact that a legal loophole derived from an ambiguous wording seemed to give residents the green light to visit these places as long as they did not drive on public roads to reach them. The ruling also states that residents in Spain are allowed to go to the vet if necessary.

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