Coronavirus: the Spanish government is set to extend Spain’s state of alarm for at least 15 more days

This period of lockdown and confinement at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak will last until 11th April and therefore affect the Easter holidays.

Pedro Sánchez has announced plans to extend Spain's state of alarm / Photo by Gobierno de España, Wikimedia Commons
Pedro Sánchez has announced plans to extend Spain's state of alarm / Photo by Gobierno de España, Wikimedia Commons
23 March 2020, Emma Donaldson

The Spanish government is set to extend the current state of alarm for at least another 15 days. The measures taken in a bid to slow down the coronavirus pandemic were originally implemented on 14th March and with these new and extended measures, quarantine and restriction of movement will continue throughout Spain. The planned extension to these measures come after Spain’s president Pedro Sánchez warned residents on Saturday that the coronavirus crisis was set to get worse: “Unfortunately, the number of diagnosed cases is going to rise in the coming days. The worst is yet to come.”

According to the law governing the declaration of states of emergency, the Spanish government can only legally enforce the state of alarm for a period of 15 days at a time. Any subsequent extension must therefore be approved by MPs in the “Congreso”. Congress will vote on the decision this week and if approved, the state of lockdown will continue until 11th April, meaning that residents in Spain will be confined to their homes during “Semana Santa”, Spain’s traditional Easter holiday, a week where the streets are usually filled with processions and other celebrations.

It is not yet clear if the rules and restrictions of the extended state of alarm will remain the same for citizens in Spain, or if the restrictions will be tightened. The current decree forbids people in Spain from leaving their homes unless the situation is entirely necessary and unless they can present an approved specific reason: going to the supermarket or pharmacy, and to go to work if working from home isn’t an option, amongst other justified reasons. Have a look at the most recent amendments to the state of alarm rules and regulations.

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