This Saturday, 21st March 2020, marks a week since the Council of Ministers decreed the state of alarm at the national level through Royal Decree 463/2020. Since that day, the Government and the different ministerial departments have made some modifications and orders have been published with new measures and indications.
Last Tuesday, 17th March 2020, after the Council meeting, Royal Decree 465/2020 was formulated, it included news of the state of alarm. This Saturday, 21st March 2020, the Government has published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) the different ministerial orders in relation to the state of alarm with urgent measures.
Citizens’ doubts are numerous; after a week in quarantine, what can and cannot be done?
The update of the Royal Decree of 17th March 2020 establishes that “during the validity of the state of alarm, people may only travel along the roads or spaces for public use to carry out the following activities, which must be carried out individually, unless accompanied by people with disabilities, minors, the elderly, or for other just causes”.
Minors can accompany their parents to the supermarket, pharmacy or other activity considered necessary in the decree to stop them from being left alone in the family home.
On the other hand, you will not be able to go to public spaces such as beaches or community areas in urbanisations. Movement is restricted and may only be used for the following:
• Purchase of food, medicine or other basic necessities.
• Doctor or hospital visits.
• To go to work; and return to the place of residence.
• Care for the elderly, minors, dependents, and people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
• Visits to banks including ATM’s.
• Due to a special need situation.
• Movements of members of the diplomatic corps to exercise their functions.
Can I visit family or friends? And do sports?
You cannot take walks or do sports on public roads; it is prohibited by this decree. Any mobility should be restricted to the previous exceptions; otherwise it may be punished with a fine or even jail if there is resistance.
You cannot go visit your friends or family to make the quarantine more bearable; however, you can go in the case of elderly dependents, people with disabilities or who are especially vulnerable.
Regarding the celebration of weddings or funerals, only if they can be celebrated maintaining all the sanitary protocols to avoid crowds.
Can I drive my partner to work?
According to the 17th March 2020 update of the Royal Decree, only individual travel is allowed both on foot and by vehicle for the activities described such as going to work and returning to the place of residence. Drivers cannot be accompanied by other people during the state of alarm, except for the exceptions mentioned above.
Can I take my pet out? Standards with animals
The Government has emphasized that people who have dogs can take them out for a walk to cover their needs but only one person, never two or more people and appealing to citizen responsibility for distance apart.
This means that the duration of these walks, although there is no established norm, should be the usual one but close to your home. It is not allowed to go to the other area of your town or city to be able to go outside. Nor go two by two to walk the dog for company. You have to be aware and responsible.
In addition, they should prioritize times of less influx of people (such as at night) and have no contact with other animals or people.
What shops can I go to?
The state of alarm has decreed the closure of all bars and restaurants, but it is allowed to offer deliveries. Therefore, you can order food from home from anywhere open. Venues that may remain open after updates to the decree include veterinary clinics.
On the other hand, hairdressing salons are no longer open to the public and those most vulnerable people who need their services may request home visits. For this, the exceptions to the commercial closing will be the following:
• All ‘online’ sales, which may be regulated by the Minister of Transport.
• Food and beverage stores.
• Optics and orthopaedics.
• Medical and health establishments.
• Kiosks and stationeries.
• Gas stations.
• Technological and telecommunications equipment.
• Dry cleaners and laundries.
• Car rental locations but only for professional use or to return rented cars before March 19.
• Hairdressers may operate, but only on home visits.
• Pet food stores.
• Veterinary clinics.
Can I go to the workshop to repair my vehicle if necessary?
Regarding the opening of vehicle repair and maintenance workshops, Order TMA / 259/2020, published this Friday, 20th March 2020 in the BOE, dictates the following:
“In order to guarantee the proper functioning of merchandise transport operations and ensure the necessary supply of products to the population, as well as the transport permitted in Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14th March 2020, opening is permitted of repair and maintenance workshops for motor vehicles, as well as establishments of related activity for the sale of parts and accessories with direct sales to repair shops, but without opening to the general public. ”
Take out the rubbish
The municipal rubbish collection services continue to operate, so it is allowed to take out the rubbish since there is no public regulation or clarification regarding this. However, as with the rest, you must have all the necessary health precautions and go individually.
Can I go to work by car? What about public transport?
Yes at the moment. One of the exceptions to movement and mobility restrictions is to use the necessary transportation for commuting to work and for the subsequent return to your habitual residence. Therefore, it will only be allowed in exceptional cases such as going to work or to the doctor.
The BOE of this Saturday 21st March 2020, publishes new indications related to an eventual road closure. For this, the Minister of the Interior may agree to close the circulation on highways for reasons of public health and would only allow the movement of vehicles for the distribution of medicines and sanitary material, food or roadside assistance services, and other essentials.
From the order of the Ministry of Transport they have also indicated that the maximum number of people allowed in the cab is limited to two for transport of goods by road.
What if I have an appointment at the doctor? May I to go?
“Each hospital is reorganising its activities and will contact patients who have appointments”, sources from the Ministry of Health of Madrid said. Therefore, you will have to wait for your health centre to call you to know if you should go or not.
However, it is always advised that people who have to go to the hospital or health centre do so individually or with a single companion if their condition warrants it.
What will happen with the administrative procedures?
According to the Order of 17th March 2020, some administrative procedures such as the renewal of the DNI or the driving license are suspended; in the event that it expires during the state of alarm, its validity is extended. They have also enabled the electronic headquarters and the telephone line for all the procedures related to the unemployment and the ERTES processing. It will not be necessary to go to the offices.
However, this suspension does not apply to the payment of Social Security contributions or to tax deadlines such as the presentation of declarations or self-assessments. For this, you will have to carry out the 2019 Income campaign within the established deadlines which start on 1st April 2020.
This information has been taken from articles published on the internet, compiled by Juan Antonio Rodríguez and translated by Bethan Trebilcock and David Fisher