The latest update in the regulations sees little change, however children will be allowed out for a walk following initial confusion.
Last Saturday, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced in a new hearing the extension of the state of alarm due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. This extension has now been passed in parliament and will come into force on 26th April 2020. The big question being asked by residents in Spain is: has anything actually changed? The answer is yes, slightly.
With the COVID-19 death rate slowly reducing and the pace of new cases also gradually declining, confinement regulations are expected to be relaxed very gradually with small restrictions being lifted. This most recent update is in addition to the resumption of the 'non-essential' activities that were put on hold before Easter, when Spain had not yet reached the peak of the curve. However, as the government has warned time and time again, getting out of this quarantine state and back to normal life will be slow. Let’s have a look at the main questions regarding the most recent state of alarm extension as to what can and can’t be done.
New regulations for children
This is perhaps the most notable change yet, and one of the most controversial as well. So far, according to lockdown rules and regulations, 1 child could accompany a parent on a necessary supermarket or pharmacy trip. After a shaky start, the government finally confirmed that children up to the age of 14 would be able to go outside, not solely for the purpose of these necessary errands.
The guidelines state that children must be accompanied, and one adult will be allowed to accompany up to 3 children under the age of 14. The parent or guardian must live in the same household as the children. The outing is allowed between 9am to 9pm within a radius of 1 kilometre from the household and can last up to an hour. Children are allowed to bring toys, including scooters.
Is outdoor daily exercise allowed like in other countries?
From 26th April to at least 9th May 2020, when the new state of alarm period will be active, daily exercise, such as doing sport outdoors (and also in common areas of buildings), is forbidden and residents in Spain must continue to adhere to the initial lockdown guidelines of staying at home. This is a measure that is being considered by the government but as explained by Fernando Simon, the Director of the Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health in Spain, who added that such a regulation requires very strict control.
Calls to allow the elderly and pregnant women out for walks
Measures concerning these two groups are being considered by the government with caution. It is true that older people especially are at the highest risk from the coronavirus but Simón also explained that, "older people must maintain mobility and must be considered as possible groups to exercise," explained Simon.
Another group that also requires mobility is pregnant women. For this reason, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has asked the government to include this measure in the royal decree. For the time being, neither of these measures have been included in the updated state of alarm regulations but remain possibilities beyond 9th May when this new state of alarm period will expire.
What can be done?
What could be done until now under the initial state of alarm decree and subsequent updates will still be allowed, such as going to the supermarket, the petrol station, the vet, the doctor and so on. Remember however, that fines are being issued for breaking the lockdown regulations, including unnecessary outings and travelling to second homes.