Spain in #Lockdown

Spain imposes state of alert: 47 million people in quarantine

+ + + Restricted freedom of movement in effect since Sunday 15 March, 0:00 a.m. + + + Government imposes curfew + + +

By Michael Allhoff

The Spanish government has decided the #Lockdown for all of Spain. With the declaration of a state of alert (effective Sunday, March 14th, 0:00 am), all of Spain is effectively quarantined in the face of the Corona crisis.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made his public appearance on 14 March at 9 pm after a seven-hour marathon meeting of the Council of Ministers. “We will use all available resources to flatten the contagion curve,” he said. “It is important that we do not deceive ourselves in our enemy, it is the virus, and we must all fight it together.” His conclusion: “The measures we take will be drastic and will have consequences.” But the emergency will “pass,” according to Sánchez. “We will be able to go to work, buy bread, medicine, or walk the dog, but we can’t go to the beach or ski.” – “Hay que quedarse en casa” was his clear motto. One must stay at home…

Passenger on Alicante Airport leaving for home. Photo: Michael Allhoff

According to the latest information (16 March), 309 people have died because of Covid-19 in Spain and 9,191 people are officially infected with the coronavirus. 432 patients are in intensive care, half of them are from Madrid. Worldwide, the WHO has recorded around 170,000 infected people and 7,000 deaths due to Covid-19.

What is allowed during State of Emergency??

“Attention, attention. This is the National Police. Traffic is forbidden on public roads. Please return to your homes. – With this loudspeaker announcement police officers of the #PoliciaNacional patrol for example in Alicante, Sevilla as well as in many other cities in Spain. Due to the declared #alarm condition, from today on it is only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons:

– Purchase of food or other primary goods (including tobacco), purchase of prescription drugs at the pharmacy

– Visit to the doctor or health centre in urgent cases

– Travel to work and return home

– Care and support of elderly or disabled people, of children or other dependent family members

– Visits to administrations, banks or insurance companies

– other proper activity of an analogous nature

– Running pets

– Refuelling of the vehicle

According to the decree, published in the Spanish Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial de Estado #BOE), only the most basic facilities may remain open, including grocery stores, gas stations, kiosks with press, insurance companies, banks, opticians and pharmacies. All other shops will be closed.

Closed or prohibited:

Public performances such as

Café show


Party rooms

Restaurants & Bars


Other premises or facilities similar to those mentioned – cultural and artistic:


concert halls


squares, parks and bullrings

Conference rooms

Conference rooms

Exhibition Halls

Multi-purpose rooms




Football, rugby, baseball and similar fields

Basketball, handball, volleyball and similar fields

Pigeon shooting and similar areas

Shooting galleries

Tennis courts and similar

Skating rinks, ice hockey and the like

Swimming pools

Boxing, wrestling, judo and similar facilities

Racetracks, for motorcycles, cars and the like

Velodromes, hippodromes, dog tracks and the like

Frontón, squash courts and similar

sports centres, including bowling alleys and similar facilities, billiards and similar saloons, athletics tracks, stadiums, cycling, motorcycle and car racing and similar

motocross, trial and similar

Nautical exhibitions

Aerospace tests and exhibitions


Dancing: Discos and dance halls

Youth homes

Sports and leisure facilities: premises or installations without spectators, intended for the practice of sports and leisure activities for public use in all their variants



facilities for collective money and gambling games such as amusement arcades, recreation halls, raffles and tombolas

Other premises and facilities equivalent to those used for the leisure pursuit of gambling and betting in accordance with the provisions of the regulations on gambling


Amusement parks, fairs and similar

Water parks

Exhibition booths


Playgrounds for children

parades and folk festivals or folklore events

Bars with or without live music

bars of the hotel and catering industry

Taverns and wine cellars

Cafeterias, coffee bars and the like

Chocolate shops

Ice cream parlors

Tea rooms

Restaurants, self-service restaurants

Hotel bars and hotel restaurants

Banquet Halls


Public transport will be restricted. While local public transport will continue, regional and long-distance connections will be reduced by half.

How is the restricted freedom of movement being controlled?

The decree states: “The Minister of the Interior may, for reasons of public health, safety or traffic flow, decide to block roads or sections of roads or to restrict access to them for certain vehicles for the same reasons. (…)

“The Minister of Health may issue the necessary orders to ensure the supply of the market and the operation of the services of production sites affected by the shortage of products necessary for the protection of public health. He may intervene and temporarily occupy industries, factories, workshops, plants or premises of any kind, including private health centres, services and facilities and those operating in the pharmaceutical sector. It may make temporary seizures of all types of goods and impose personal services in cases where this is necessary for the adequate protection of public health in the context of this health crisis”.

How is the food supply secured?

O-Tone #BOE: “The competent authorities appointed shall take the necessary measures to ensure the following: To allow the supply of food at points of consumption and the provision of services at production sites that enable food to be distributed from the point of origin to commercial establishments that sell it to the consumer, including warehouses, logistics centres and markets at the point of destination. In particular, where necessary for safety reasons, it may be agreed that the vehicles carrying out the transport of the said goods shall be accompanied. If necessary, sanitary corridors may be established to allow the entry and exit of persons, raw materials and processed products to and from food-producing establishments, including farms, auctions, feed mills and slaughterhouses. Similarly, the competent authorities may intervene in undertakings or services and mobilise the State’s security forces and armed forces to ensure the proper functioning of the provisions of this Article”, Article 15 states.

How has the government restructured itself?

Spain has concentrated all government power on four key ministers to whom all authorities must delegate their responsibilities. These are Margarita Robles (Defence Minister), Fernando Grande-Marlaska (Interior Minister), José Luis Ábalos (Traffic and Transport) and Salvador Illa (Health Minister). Health Minister Salvador Illa has also taken over all areas of responsibility that do not fall within the competence of one of the delegated authorities. Thus, no Minister of #UnidosPodemos is represented in the decision-making centres of the executive.

The Council of Ministers, in its seven-hour marathon session, was unable to agree on the payment of extraordinary contributions for workers and employees threatened by short-time work and unemployment due to the #Corona crisis. The decision on financial aid to be granted by the government was postponed. According to the Spanish newspaper #ElPaís, these measures are to be announced on Tuesday. Both Pablo Iglesias of UNPodemos and Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz had called for massive financial aid to counter the #Corona crisis.

The concern of UNPodemos is central. The party, like Labour Minister Díaz, is concerned with financial measures to support workers who will become unemployed in the coming weeks of total economic stagnation in Spain. If, for example, it were decided that all those who become unemployed these days – which could be hundreds of thousands given the cessation of activity in key sectors such as tourism – should not lose any regular working days during the period of the coronavirus crisis, it would cost the State millions of euros.

Health is the number one priority

All instructions in the area of health care are passed on to the responsible minister. Extract from the Royal Decree, published in the Spanish Official Gazette: “All civil authorities of the public administrations of the State territory, in particular the health authorities, as well as other officials and employees in the service of the same, shall be placed under the direct authority of the Minister of Health, to the extent necessary for the protection of persons, property and places, and extraordinary services may be imposed on them in their duration or nature. Without prejudice to the foregoing, regional and local public administrations shall, within the limits of their competence, maintain the management of the relevant health services, ensuring at all times their proper functioning. The Minister of Health reserves the right to exercise all the powers that may be necessary to ensure cohesion and equality in the provision of the said service”.

Private health care providers can intervene if necessary as a result of the declaration of a state of alert: “The private health service also remains under its command if it is necessary to resort to it. (…) In particular, the complete disposition of the civil authorities in charge of public health and of the officials working in this field is ensured, all these authorities being under the direct command of the Minister of Health. This measure will also ensure the possibility of guaranteeing the best distribution of all technical and personal resources on the territory, according to the needs that will be revealed in the management of this health crisis. The delegated competent authorities will exercise their powers to ensure that staff and health centres and facilities of a military nature contribute to the strengthening of the national health system throughout the national territory. The Minister of Health may also exercise the powers necessary for these purposes in relation to private health centres, services and facilities”.

Courage and confidence

“Let’s break the chain of transmission of panic,” declared Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. One should not give fake news a platform. “This state of alert will pass, we will return to the parks, to the terraces, and we will master the economic recovery and return to normality.” The point is that the spread of the virus as the “real enemy” is first contained and then defeated. The “victory” would be achieved if there were “more cured people than new infections”. For Spain it was “a moment of solidarity”.

List of recommended links with information about Covid-19:

TV address by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declaring a state of alert in Spain (in Spanish):


Overview of #Covid19 – Graphics of the propagation at daily newspaper #ElPaís ▶️

“Why we must act now” – Analysis of the urgent need for action due to the coronavirus and research into the number of undetected cases of infected persons: ▶️

Scientific YouTube documentation on the exponentially increasing infection rates: ▶️

This is how data journalists visualize the spread of the coronavirus: ▶️

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