A new state of alarm in Spain

a new state of alarm in spain

The Spanish government today declared a new state of alarm in Spain. With the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections in recent days this comes as no surprise. The state of alarm will initially be in place for 15 days but the government is seeking to extend this to 9 May 2021.

The new state of alarm in Spain is not as strict as the one put in place in March 2020. The idea is to curb movement at night and possibly between regions if the situation deteriorates.

From today, a curfew is in place whereby you cannot leave your property between the hours of 11pm and 6am. This is a national curfew with the exception of the Canary Islands which has far lower infection rates than the rest of Spain.

The Central Government has given the regions some flexibility. They are permitted to move the hours of the curfew an hour either way.

Other powers the Regions will have is to restrict movement between areas under their control or even the whole province.

There are some exceptions

You can leave your property during the curfew hours but only if you have a justified reason. For example, to attend the doctors or you work during these hours.

Can you still meet friends?

The maximum number of people that can gather socially is six or less.

a new state of alarm in spain

Agreed measures to determine Regional actions

The Health Ministry has agreed an action plan with the regional authorities. There are a number of indicators that are factored into a calculation to determine this action. Regions will be graded into one of four categories, extreme, high, medium and low.

New ITV dates following state of alarm

The ITV testing stations were closed on the 14 March 2020 when the state of alarm was announced in Spain.

ITV certificate expiry dates were extended under a previous decree and set to expire after the end of the state of alarm plus 30 days. With the last of the Spanish provinces coming out of phase ‘0’ on Monday 18th May an official bulletin from the state of Spain was realeased. For those whose ITV certificates have expired, whilst the ITV stations have been closed, it provides clarity as to when you need to get your ITV renewals completed.

The state of alarm for calculating new ITV tests finishes at 00:00 on 24 May 2020.

Initial inspection dateExtension period once state of alarm finishes (calendar days)
Week 1: March 14-20 March30 days plus 15 additional days
Week 2: March 21-27 March30 days plus 2 periods of 15 days
Week 3: March 28 – 3 April30 days plus 3 periods of 15 days
Week n.30 days plus n 15-day periods.

For example, if your ITV expired on the Monday 21 March 2020 then the validity of your ITV certificate has been extended until 23 July 2020. The state of alarm, as far as ITV tests goes, expires 24 May 2020. So it is 24 May + 30 days + 2 periods of 15 days = 23rd July. You must complete your ITV test before that date.

You will need to book for the re-test with an ITV centre.

Note, that once your vehicle has passed the ITV test the renewal date will be based on when the original test expired this year. The period will not start from the date of the revised test.

Driving licences extended 60 days if they expire during the State of Alarm

How to change a UK driving licence to a Spanish driving licence

The Interior Ministry has issued an order extending the validity of driving licenses that expire during the state of alarm for 60 days. 

The order, published this Saturday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), states that “driving permits and licenses, as well as other administrative authorizations to drive, whose period of validity expires during the state of alarm, will be automatically extended while it lasts the same and up to sixty calendar days after its completion ”. 

The resolution, signed by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, also affects valid foreign driving licenses to drive in Spain. The law establishes that these permits are valid for six months from arrival in Spain and that, after that period, foreign drivers must exchange their country’s permit for a Spanish one. 

The order published today in the BOE establishes that the computation of those six months is paralysed during the state of alarm, and will resume once that period has ended. Therefore, foreign driving licenses for which the legal six months have not expired remain valid during the state of alarm. 

Essential vehicles exempt from some traffic restrictions

The resolution also affects certain vehicles that provide essential services such as the distribution of medicines, medical supplies or food. The Royal Decree, by which the state of alarm was established, indicates that the Minister of the Interior “may agree to close the circulation of roads or sections of them for reasons of public health, safety or fluidity of traffic or the restriction on access of certain vehicles for the same reasons. ” The order issued this Saturday indicates that these restrictions that may be established will not affect: 

a) Roadside assistance vehicles. 

b) Vehicles and road maintenance and maintenance services. 

c) Vehicles for the distribution of medicines and medical supplies. 

d) Urban solid waste collection vehicles. 

e) Vehicles destined for food distribution. 

f) The transportation of flux materials. 

g) Vehicles destined to transport fuels. 

h) Live livestock transport vehicles. 

i) The transport of perishable goods (fruits, fresh vegetables and others), provided that the perishable goods account for at least half of the vehicle’s payload capacity or occupy half of the vehicle’s payload volume. 

j) The vehicles of the State Society of Posts and Telegraphs. 

The restrictions will also not affect other vehicles “that help guarantee the supply of goods or the provision of essential services for the population.” The Royal Decree on the state of alarm already indicated that these restrictions did not affect emergency vehicles or police vehicles. The order signed by the Interior Minister has been issued, like the rest of the resolutions established under the Royal Decree on the state of alarm, in order to protect the health and safety of citizens, contain the progression of the disease and reinforce the public health system. The objective is to guarantee the supply of basic necessities and the provision of essential services for our society. 

To make this measure effective and guarantee unity and coordination in its execution, the order establishes that the General Director of Traffic, Pere Navarro, report the same “to those responsible for traffic in the Autonomous Communities, or, where appropriate, of the local entities that have assumed competences in the matter of traffic ”. 

How to change your UK or other EU driving licence to a Spanish driving licence yourself?