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DE ASUNTOS PÚBLICOS

Royal Decree declaring the state of alarm in Spain

Picture: Europa Press

The Government has approved the Royal Decree declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.

The President of the Government concentrates almost all executive power in four socialist ministers, and authorizes them to give direct instructions to the presidents of the autonomous communities, who, like all civil servants, remain under the authority of the central executive.

It has a duration of 15 calendar days throughout Spain and will come into effect from the moment of its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

A summary of the decree follows:

TERRITORIAL SCOPE

The entire national territory.

COMPETENT AUTHORITY

The Government. Under the superior direction of the President of the Government, the following shall be competent authorities delegated, in their respective areas of responsibility:

a) The head of the Ministry of Defense.

b) The head of the Home Office.

c) The head of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

d) The head of Ministry of Health.

The regional and local authorities will remain responsible for the management of their areas of competence, but always under the command of the competent authority.

COLLABORATION WITH THE COMPETENT AUTHORITIES

The State Security Forces, and the Police Forces of the Autonomous Communities and the Local Corporations will remain under the direct orders of the head of the Ministry of the Interior, for the purposes of this Royal Decree, as far as it is necessary for the protection of people, goods and locations, and extraordinary services may be imposed.

Agents of the authority may practice verifications in people, goods, vehicles, premises and establishments in order to verify and, in their case, prevent that suspended services and activities are carried out, except for those expressly excepted. To this end, they may issue the necessary orders and prohibitions and suspend the activities or services being carried out.

Citizens have a duty to collaborate and not hinder the work of the agents of authority in the exercise of their duties.

RESTRICTION ON FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

Circulating in a public route is only allowed for the following purposes:

a) Purchase of food, pharmaceutical products and basic needs.

b) On the way to health centers, work place for professional or business activities or banks.

d) Return to the place of residence.

e) Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, disabled persons or particularly vulnerable persons.

g) Due to force majeure or a situation of necessity.

h) Any other activity of a similar nature duly justified.

Also, for refueling at petrol stations or service stations.

The Home Office Minister may close roads or sections of roads for reasons of public health, safety or traffic flow or restrict access for the same reasons.

TEMPORARY REQUISITIONS AND MANDATORY PERSONAL BENEFITS

The competent authorities may agree, ex officio or at the request of the Autonomous Communities or Local Entities, to temporary requisitions of all kinds of goods necessary for the fulfilment of the purposes set out in this Royal Decree, in particular for the provision of security services or critical and essential operators.

Under the same terms, the performance of mandatory personal services essential to the achievement of the purposes of this royal decree may be imposed.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES IN THE LABOUR FIELD

Employers, both public and private, shall be obliged to facilitate measures that allow employees to work or function by non-presential means whenever possible.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES IN THE EDUCATIONAL FIELD

Classroom-based educational activity is suspended in all centers and at all stages, cycles, grades, courses and levels of education. During the period of suspension, educational activities will be maintained through the distance and «on line» modalities, whenever possible.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES IN THE FIELD OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY

The opening to the public of the retail premises and establishments is suspended, with the exception of retail shops for food, drinks, and first need products and goods; pharmaceutical, medical, optical and orthopedic establishments, drugstores, hair salons, stationary and press; gas and petrol stations, licensed tobacco and stamp shops, computer stores, telecommunication providers, pet food and supplies, online and phone commerce, dry cleaners and laundries. Any other activity or establishment which, according to the competent authority, may pose a risk of contagion, is suspended.

Staying in commercial establishments allowed opened shall be strictly for consumers to purchase food and basic necessities, the possibility of consumption of products in the establishments themselves being suspended. In any case, crowding shall be avoided and consumers and employees shall be controlled to maintain a safety distance of at least one meter in order to avoid possible contagion.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES RELATING TO RECREATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND ACTIVITIES, HOTEL AND RESTAURANT ACTIVITIES AND OTHER ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

Activity is suspended in establishments where public performances, cultural and artistic facilities and sports and leisure activities are carried out, as set out in the attached document.

The hotel and restaurant activities listed in the attached document are also suspended. The cafeterias and restaurants will remain closed to the public, and may only provide home delivery services.

Verbenas, parades and popular festivals are also suspended.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES IN RELATION TO PLACES OF WORSHIP AND CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES

Attendance at places of worship and civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals, is conditional on organizational measures to avoid crowds, depending on the size and characteristics of the places, so as to ensure that those attending are able to keep to the distance of at least one meter between them.

MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY

All civil authorities, and in particular the health authorities, as well as the officials and workers, shall be placed under the direct orders of the Minister of Health insofar as necessary for the protection of people, goods and places, and extraordinary services may be imposed.

Regional and local administrations will keep the management of the corresponding health services, ensuring at all times their adequate functioning.

The full disposition of the civil servants who serve at the National Health System will be ensured, all of them being under the direct orders of the Minister of Health.

The delegated competent authorities shall ensure that the personnel and the health centers and establishments of a military nature contribute to strengthening the national health system throughout the national territory.

The Minister of Health may exercise such powers as are necessary for this purpose in respect of private health establishments.

MEASURES TO ENSURE THE PROVISION OF GOODS AND SERVICES NECESSARY FOR THE PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH

The Minister of Health may:

a) issue the necessary orders to ensure the supply of the market and the operation of the services of production centers affected by the shortage of products necessary for the protection of public health

b) intervene in and temporarily occupy industries, factories, workshops, holdings or premises of any kind, including privately owned health centers, services and establishments, as well as the pharmaceutical industry

c) Temporarily requisition of all types of goods and impose mandatory personal services, when necessary for the adequate protection of public health, in the context of this health crisis.

MEASURES IN THE FIELD OF TRANSPORT

The following shall apply to all means of transport, regardless of the authority responsible for them:

a) The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda is empowered to issue the agreements, resolutions and provisions that, in the specific sphere of his action, are necessary to guarantee mobility services, whether ordinary or extraordinary, for the protection of persons, goods and places.

(b) The acts, provisions and measures referred to in the preceding paragraph may be adopted ex officio or at the reasoned request of the competent regional and local authorities, in accordance with the legislation applicable in each case. To this end, no administrative procedure shall be required.

The following measures applicable to inland transport are also adopted:

a) In public passenger transport services by road, rail, air and sea that are not subject to a public contract or public service obligations, transport operators shall reduce the total offer of operations. Specific conditions may be laid down by a decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda.

b) Public passenger transport services by road, rail, air and sea that are subject to public contracts or public service obligations shall also reduce their total operating offer. Specific conditions may be laid down by decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda. This resolution shall take into account the need to ensure that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.

c) Public passenger transport services by road, rail and sea that are subject to public contracts or public service obligations shall reduce their total supply of operations and the conditions may be amended by a decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda.

By resolution of the Minister of Transport or the competent authority of the corresponding autonomous community or local administration, higher reductions of services may be established, as well as other specific conditions for the provision of services.

This resolution will take into account the need to ensure that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.

d) A resolution of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda shall establish the conditions necessary to facilitate the transport of goods throughout the national territory, in order to guarantee supply.

e) For all means of transport, operators of passenger transport services shall be obliged to carry out a daily cleaning of transport vehicles, in accordance with recommendations to be established by the Ministry of Health.

f) Online ticketing systems must include a sufficiently visible message during the ticketing process advising against travel except for reasons that cannot be postponed.

g) In order to ensure adequate distance between passengers, for those services where the ticket provides for a seat or cabin, transport operators will take the necessary measures to ensure the maximum possible separation between passengers.

MEASURES TO ENSURE FOOD SUPPLY

The competent authorities shall take the necessary measures to ensure

a) The supply of food at places of consumption and the operation of production site services, enabling food to be distributed from its place of origin to commercial establishments selling it to the consumer, including warehouses, logistics centers and markets at destination. In particular, when necessary for safety reasons, it may be agreed that vehicles carrying out the transport of the above goods will be accompanied.

b) When necessary, the establishment of sanitary corridors to allow the entry and exit of persons, raw materials and processed products to and from establishments where food is produced, including farms, feed mills and slaughterhouses.

The competent authorities may also agree on the involvement of businesses or services and the mobilization of law enforcement and military forces to ensure the proper functioning of the provisions of this paragraph.

GUARANTEE OF SUPPLY OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY, PETROLEUM PRODUCTS AND NATURAL GAS

The competent authority may take the necessary measures to guarantee the supply of electrical energy, petroleum products and natural gas, and such supply, in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of Law 24/2013 of 26 December on the Electrical Sector and Articles 49 and 101 of Law 34/1998 of 7 October on the Hydrocarbons Sector.

CRITICAL OPERATORS OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES

The critical operators of essential services provided for in Law 8/2011, of 26 April, which establishes measures for the protection of critical infrastructures, shall adopt the necessary measures to ensure the provision of the essential services which are theirs.

This requirement will also be adopted by those companies and suppliers that, not being considered critical, are essential to ensure the supply of the population and the essential services themselves.