SPAIN’S government has decreed a ‘state of alarm’ across the entire country in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Saturday, 9pm, freedom of movement will be severely restricted with citizens required to stay at home for the next 15 days.
All of Spain’s regions and autonomous communities will be put under direct government control, including local police forces.
Officers will be given special powers to make ‘checks’ on people, goods, vehicles, buildings and establishments while the state of alarm is in effect.
The Royal Decree issued today says citizens will only be able to use public roads for the following reasons:
- Acquisition of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities.
- Visits to health centres.
- Travel to the workplace to perform work or business-related activities.
- Return to the place of habitual residence.
- Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
- Visits to financial entities.
- Due to force or need.
- Any other activity of an analogous nature duly justified.
The circulation of private vehicles on public roads will only be allowed to carry out the aforementioned activities, or to refuel at petrol stations.
The state of alarm puts all security forces, including the Catalonian Mossos, the Basque Ertzaintza and the local police under the authority of the Interior Ministry.
The Decree adds the army may be drafted in if necessary.
It comes as coronavirus cases have jumped to 5,753 while 138 people have died, at the time of publication.