Prime Minister Sánchez speaking on Saturday. | Borja Puig de la Bellacasa


On Saturday, the Spanish government made formal the state of alert. Freedom of movement is to be restricted, the order having established eight justifications for leaving home:

1. The purchase of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities.
2. Attendance at health centres.
3. Travel to places of work.
4. Return to places of habitual residence.
5. Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
6. To go to financial entities (e.g. banks).
7. Due to force majeure or situations of necessity.
8. Any other activity of a justified analogous (comparable) nature.

Use of vehicles will also be permitted in order to go to petrol stations. Expressly prohibited is any outing for a "leisure" purpose. For the time being, attendance at places of worship will be allowed with the simple advice of avoiding crowds and keeping a distance of one metre between people.

All state and regional security forces as well as local police forces are to come under the authority of the ministry of interior. Police will be authorised to carry out checks and searches on people, goods, vehicles, premises and establishments that are necessary. Citizens have a duty to collaborate and not hinder the work of law enforcement officers in the exercise of their functions.

The government has adopted measures to guarantee food supplies. This includes the use of the army if necessary and the accompaniment of vehicles transporting food. There is provision for the rationing of food and for requisitioning factories and buildings, but not private homes.

All public transport is to be reduced, with airline, train, bus and boat operators told that they need to cut services by at least a half and that any plane, train, bus or other means of transport can only be a third full. The government's decree does not foresee closing the country's borders.

Employers will be obliged to allow employees to work remotely, i.e. from home.

Measures regarding the "circulation of people" will come into effect at 08.00 on 16 March. The state of alert will be effective for fifteen days but could be extended.