Spain Halts – Official Coronavirus Lockdown Communique

The below is the official Communique:

The Cabinet has approved the State of Alarm as announced yesterday. Initially for 15 days, starting at the time of publication in the State Bulletin, just before midnight 14.3.2020, with the possibility to extend.

All police and army forces are now under direct control of the Central Government. A special committee has been formed, including the ministers of Defence, Interior, Transport and Health. Presided by the Minister President. The Civil Protection units will receive their orders from the Central Government as well. The Central Government is now authorised to close off roads or restrict traffic from and to certain areas for public health or safety reasons.

The Central Government can also recruit the services and facilities from the private health sector – they now respond to the Health Minister. Likewise the pharmaceutical industry, to ensure continued availability of prescription meds.

All businesses and government organisations are asked to facilitate working from home where possible.

The necessary measures will be adopted to guarantee the supply of electricity, petroleum products and natural gas.

The Board has approved a general measure to maximise restricted movement by citizens. Citizens are only allowed to leave their homes, individually (unless accompanying a disabled person or for another justified reason), in the following situations, both on foot and by car:

  • to buy food or other primary necessities, or to get prescription meds from the farmacia
  • to visit medical facilities in case of urgency
  • to go to your workplace or to carry out labour, professional or company duties
  • to return to your habitual home
  • to take care of children or other dependant family members or to assist elderly or disabled people
  • to visit banking or insurance institutions
  • for reasons of overwhelming force or situation of necessity
  • for any other activity of an analogous nature duly justified
  • to walk your pet (this was not mentioned in the original list, but mentioned specifically during the Q&A after the press conference)
  • to fill your vehicle up with fuel

Repeated info on the closure of all education facilities throughout the country and the possibility to replace by alternative, online teaching activities where applicable.

All retail businesses will be closed as well. With the exception of farmacias, those offering medical, orthopaedic, optical or veterinary services, those selling newspapers (kioscos and estancos), petrol or hygienic products, technological and telecommunications equipment, those offering telecom services, those selling animal feed products, dry cleaners, hairdressers. E-commerce or commercial activities by phone or mail.

Hosteleria and restaurant services are suspended, exclusively authorised to offer home-delivery services instead. The Minister President mentioned take-away services as well, but they are not mentioned in the Royal Decree. If offered, establishments need to make sure that appropriate measures are in place with regards to collection. Specified in the Annex to the Royal Decree: Tabernas y bodegas. Cafeterías, bares, café-bares and similar. Chocolaterías, heladerías, salones de té, croissanteries and similar. Restaurantes, autoservicios de restauración and similar. Bares-restaurante. Bares y restaurantes de hoteles, except when providing services for their guests. Salones de banquetes. Terrazas. Maintained Spanish terminology for easier cross-check with relevant opening licences.

Museums, discotheques, auditoriums, sports facilities, attraction parks, leisure activity centres, processions, popular fiestas, folkloric manifestations – all closed or cancelled.

Attendance at places of worship and at civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals, are conditioned on the adoption of organizational measures consisting of avoiding crowds of people, depending on the dimensions and characteristics of the premises, in such a way that attendees are guaranteed the possibility of respecting the
distance between them of at least one meter.

National transport
Most public passenger transport services by rail, road, air and sea will reduce their total offer of operations by at least 50%.

Commuter rail services (cercanías) will maintain their range of services.

Some specific criteria for transport between the Peninsula and non-peninsular territories, as well as for transportation between the islands will be established.

For info re possible cancellations of international flights from and to Spain, please contact your airline.

Suspension of administrative deadlines
Administrative procedures at the Public Administrations will be suspended for the duration of the State of Alarm. Meaning that if the max. period to process an application for something would ordinarily be 3 months, it will now be 3 months and 15 days, or longer, if the State of Alarm is extended. Except in relation to procedures directly related to the State of Alarm.

Suspension of limitation periods and expiration
The statute of limitations and expiration of any actions and rights will be suspended for the duration of the alarm state and, where appropriate, of the extensions to be adopted.

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