Royal Decree 463/2020, in effect since March 14, 2020, declares Spain to be in a state of emergency. This measure, taken for effective management of the health crisis situation caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19, establishes significant limitations to the freedom of movement of the people and determines which activities justify circulating on roads of public use. In short, the country is on lockdown and its residents are in confinement.
This state of limited mobility, or confinement is a far cry from business as usual for the spanish people and its residents used to life outside the house; a lifestyle endorsed by year round mild, pleasant weather and lively, warm people. This change is not only leaving most of us wodering what we can and can’t do, but also facing questions we’ve not used to thinking about. As most of humanity at the moment, we all want to do our part to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and return to a safer, more familiar way of life.
Let us do our part well. Clearly understanding what confinement means and the considerations that need to be had around mobility, locally and abroad to ensure making a difference, together.
Because we care, see below a curated list of 41 questions which you might be looking for answers to.
1. Can you move in and out of municipalities?
Mobility is limited to certain activities: acquisition of food, basic pharmaceutical products, financial and insurance entities, travel to the workplace, return to place of residence, attention and care for minors, the elderly and other especially vulnerable people. These activities must always be carried out individually except for when accompanying people with disabilities, those who require assistance and/or if caring for minors. The confinement in the municipalities of Igualada, Òdena, Igualada and Vilanova del Camí also continues, where there are controls not to enter or exit, except for essential services.
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Generalitat de Catalunya has issued a certtificate of self-responaibility which residents are advised to complete when moving around the city if and when necessary. The certifiate is digital and can be completed and carried on your mobile phone in case it is requested by the Police. Click here to use.
No such document has been issued in Madrid. The only instruction in place is that those who still need to attend the workplace must carry a letter issued on company letterhead explaining the nature of work, the carriers personal details, duly stamped and signed by the employer.
2. Will food stores, supermarkets and the like be open?
Yes, these are considered essential services.
3. Are supplies to grocery stores and supermarkets ensured?
Yes, food distribution is considered an essential service and the arrival of basic products is coordinated with the distribution platforms.
4. Can people go out food shopping?
Yes, for regular food shopping only, avoiding crowds and practicing social distancing by keeping at least a meter (3,3ft) of distance between people.
5. Can I meet people on the street?
No, going outside is limited to the activities described (essential purchases) that do not include social meetings.
6. Is there any “mobility certificate” or official document that I have to carry in order to travel on foot or by vehicle?
Not everywhere in Spain. See exceptions below.
Catalonia: As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Generalitat de Catalunya has issued a certtificate of self-responaibility which residents are advised to complete when moving around the city if and when necessary. The certifiate is digital and can be completed and carried on your mobile phone in case it is requested by the Police. Click here to use.
7. Can I go shopping with minors in my care if there is no one else in the home?
It is advisable to ask someone to collect and deliver food or basic products to your home or preferably buy online. If this is not possible, avoid entering establishments with children.
8. Can I take my children to the park?
No, parks, beaches or forests are not allowed during this time.
9. Can I leave my children in the care of the person who regularly takes care of them because I have to go to work?
Yes, only if it is the care of a minor.
10. What happens if I have a family member with a disability who needs to go outside?
If it is essential, you can do it with a prescription from your regular health or social worker. You must carry the disability certificate and / or the professional’s prescription with you.
11. Can I visit my family member/ friend/ neighbor to their house?
Only in cases of vulnerable or dependent people, without external contact and maintaining a distance of 1 – 2 meters. Also allowed when picking up/dropping off minors in their parents or guardians’ homes (also in cases of shared custody or similar).
12. Can I visit my dependent relatives?
Yes, to guarantee the care they need. There should be no contact; practice social distancing (1 – 2 meters personal space).
13. Can I do essential shopping for people who cannot do it themselves?
Yes, but when delivering, there should be no contact; practice social distancing (1 – 2 meters personal space).
14. Can I take out the trash?
Yes, to the bins/ containers nearest to your home.
15. Can I take out my neighbor’s trash?
Yes, but there should be no contact; practice social distancing (1 – 2 meters personal space).
16. Why can’t I go see my grandparents and spend the afternoon with them?
They are a collective classified as being very vulnerable to the virus. Contact should be avoided. Calling them often is recommended so that they feel accompanied and so you can check if their needs are being met. If necessary, they can be brought what they need (basic necessities), but there should be no contact; practice social distancing (1 – 2 meters personal space).
17. What limitation exists regarding the number of people in private vehicles?
Always on an individual basis, except to accompany the elderly, minors or those with disabilities requireing special assistance.
18. Can motorcycles and bicycles circulate?
Yes, only for the reasons of mobility stated as essential and on an individual basis.
19. And what about in taxis?
Individually always. Taxis and driver services (like uber, cabify) are to abide by the one passenger rule. Exceptions: transportation of minors, elderly and/or disabled and when providing service to and from the airport.
20. Can I go to pick up a relative at the airport, at the station, bus stop?
No, except in the case of minors, elderly and/or people with disabilities.
21. How to justify a cause of force majeure or a situation of need to circulate abroad?
Bring the documents certifying the situation of need or cause of force majeure so that the police can verify. This measure is only for very exceptional situations.
22. Is it possible to change property and move?
If it cannot be postponed due to contractual end or the like, it can be considered a justified need. When moving, carry official supporting documentation.
23- Can I donate blood?
Yes, responding to calls made by the health authority and with precautionary measures.
24. Can I go out to sign a contract, documentation or similar?
Only for just cause and if it cannot be postponed. As a reminder, deadlines for administrative processing (procedures) do not expire during these days.
25. Can we share a car to go to the doctor?
Only with minors, dependents, people classified as vulnerable or other justified causes.
26. Can we be in the community spaces of our building?
No, since they are private spaces for public use.
27. Can I make use of the common areas of the building where I live?
Only for essential activities (hanging clothes, for example) and always individually.
28. Can I go out to my private patio / balcony / terrace?
Yes, if they are solely for the use of your home, you can use it.
29. Can I go to funerals, in the morgue?
Yes, except if the death of the deceased has been due to Covidi-19. In any case, there should be no contact; practice social distancing (1 – 2 meters personal space).
30. Can I take my pet for a walk?
Yes, maintaining distances and security measures. Always pick up after your pet.
31. Can I go to bars, restaurants, the movies, theaters, libraries, musuems, civic centers?
They are all closed from March 14, 2020 and while the state of emergency is in effect.
32. Will shopping centers be open?
No, only those dedicated exclusively to food, hygiene or cleaning products or spaces in the shopping centers dedicated to these products.
33. Are grocery stores in general open?
Yes, with the exceptions of shopping centers, grocery stores may open with enforcement measures to respect social distancing and limiting store capacity.
34. Can I go to my medical appointments?
If it is not urgent, it is advisable to postpone.
35. I have an appointment for rehabilitation. I can go?
If it is not essential, it is better to postpone it.
36. Does public transportation work?
Yes, but with a third of its regular frequency. Elderly and vulnerable population are being requested to not use public transport at all..
37. Can I take care of registrations at Local Government offices?
Before going, check with the institution if you can submit paperwork electronically or postpone it.
38. Is there a centralized information phoneline?
For citizen information dial 012, if showing symptoms of Covid-19, dial 061. Dial 112 strictly for emergencies. For a complete list of emergency numbers in Spain, click here.
39. Are emergency services ensured during confinement?
40. What is considered an essential service?
Safety, health and emergency matters, prison services, social and residential services, funeral services, electricity, drinking water, fuels, gas, telecommunications, urban and industrial waste, sanitary waste, health and pharmacy supplies, human and farm food distribution of animals, live animals (transport and veterinary) and slaughterhouses.
41. What are the highest risk groups?
Health Authorities indicate that the groups at greatest risk are the elderly and people with chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular, diabetes, heart or lung diseases, or immune diseases.
If there are any specific questions you would like answered, leave a comment below or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be happy to help if possible!