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What does the Latest Spanish State of Alarm Entail?

Soraya Fernández | Photos: ©Fran Montes, ReachExtra

Drastic measures have been taken by the Spanish government due to a rise in numbers of Covid-19 cases. A nation-wide curfew has been implemented from 11 PM to 6 AM, at least until the 9th of November, with autonomous regions given the freedom to add or remove one extra hour. Social gatherings have also been reduced to 6 people. ReachExtra explains what exactly this new state of alarm means.

State of Alarm October Spain Andalucia Campo de Gibraltar

On the 25th of October, the Consejo de Ministros del Gobierno español (Council of Ministers for the Spanish Government) issued a new, nation-wide state of alarm in a bid to contain the ‘alarming’ spread of Covid-19 cases. This has meant that freedom of movement has been limited at certain times and the new rules have already come into force.

Although the state of alarm, in principle, is valid for 15 days, the central government in Spain can extend this until the 9th of May 2021.

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The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas is an online recording replacing the Christmas Festival fo Lights. It has been produced on behalf of GCS by GAMPA and GibMedia and the Gibraltar Electiricity Authority. Don't miss this Friday at 7pm on GBC TV and GCS Facebook! #gibraltarculturalservices Gibraltar Electricity Authority GBC Gibmedia #GAMPA #vistigibraltar

Posted by Gibraltar Cultural Services on Monday, 16 November 2020

However, this state of alarm is somewhat different to the first one in the spring; during the ‘first wave’. This time, it does not entail a mandatory stay at home measure as it had previously, and it’s most restrictive aspects consist of a new curfew and reduced social gathering sizes. On this occasion, it will be the autonomous regions rather than the state government which will be responsible for enforcement.

According to a Royal Decree approved by the Spanish Government, and as is the case in most European countries, Spain has experienced an uptick in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. This increase has been translated into a significant increase in the ‘Accumulated Incidence’ over 14 days, reaching 349 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on the 22nd of October.

The Canary Islands are Exempt

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Current epidemiological indicators have placed almost the entirety of Spain at either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk, in line with to national and international standards, but the Canary Islands are exempt. In fact, the UK and Germany have already lifted travel restrictions to the Canary Islands and people are able to travel to these islands for a few days without risking quarantine on their return home.

So, what exactly does the new state of alarm mean for the majority of Spain? ReachExtra takes you through what exactly these new restrictions entail.

State of Alarm October Spain Andalucia Algeciras

This second state of alarm came into force this Sunday, 25th October, and, in principle, it will remain in place until the 9th of November. The Spanish government plans on a further 6-month extension to this. It will be the autonomous regions which will decide until when this curfew will be maintained for.

Although there will not be a general lockdown, the Government is advising the public to leave their homes as little as possible to prevent further spread.

The Curfew

State of Alarm October Spain Andalucia Algeciras

Aside from the Canary Islands, a new measure included in the state of alarm is the imposition of a curfew. Freedom of movement is restricted between 11 PM and 6 AM, except for approved reasons. This also means that bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and casinos will need to close during this timeframe.

The Royal Decree provides that people may only be able to use the roads or public spaces to carry out the following activities during the curfew, which citizens will be required to prove that they are:

  1. Buying prescriptions, medicinal products and other essential goods.
  2. Attending health centres, services and establishments.
  3. Attending a veterinary clinic for urgent matters.
  4. Complying with labour, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations.
  5. Returning home from any of the above.
  6. Assisting and caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or vulnerable people.
  7. Due to ‘force majeure’ or situation of need.
  8. Any other activity of a similar nature, which has been approved.
  9. Refuelling at petrol or service stations, when necessary, to carry out the activities provided in the above paragraphs.

According to the Spanish government, the aim is to slow down spread the rate of infection as much as possible, given the recent rise in cases in these past few weeks.

Autonomous regions have been given the authority to add or remove one hour from this timeframe. Andalucía is expected to announce its decision shortly, so the curfew could come into force between 10 PM and 5 AM or between 12 midnight and 7 AM. The Junta will meet with hoteliers to decide on this matter.

Gatherings Reduced to a Maximum of 6 People

Group sizes have been limited, both public and private spaces, indoors and outdoors, which aims to significantly reduce ‘social mobility’ to slow down the spread of the virus.

Social gatherings will be limited to six people at most, unless those people ‘cohabit’; however, some autonomous communities may decide to impose restrictions on those who live together. This will mean that, in Spain, Christmas celebrations, and potentially even Easter, will be restricted should the government not consider the curve flattened.

Zoned Lockdowns

State of Alarm October Spain Andalucia Algeciras

Freedom of movement remain unless an autonomous region decides to implement local lockdowns which would prohibit people from entering or leaving a zone, city, district or province for a minimum period of 14 days.

This also comes with exceptions. Leaving these zones will only be allowed for any of the following reasons, which must also be accredited:

  1. Attending health centres, services and establishments.
  2. Compliance with labour, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations.
  3. Attending university, teaching and educational centres, including nursery schools.
  4. Returning to a place of habitual or family residence.
  5. Assisting and caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
  6. Travel to financial and insurance entities or refuelling stations in neighbouring territories.
  7. Required or urgent actions before public, judicial or notarial bodies.
  8. Renewals of permits and official documentation, as well as other administrative procedures that cannot be postponed.
  9. Sitting exams or official tests that cannot be postponed.
  10. Due to a force majeure or situation of need.
  11. Any other activity of a similar nature which has been approved.

In Andalusia, this measure affects Écija (Seville) and the province of Granada, with a total of 32 municipalities being put into isolation with effect from October 26.

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