THE lockdown of Spain over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been confusing at the best of times.
From its actual start date (the weekend or today) to the minutiae of daily life – like walking the dog or visiting family – people have been left with unanswered questions.
Below are the most frequently asked, although bear in mind the responses are subject to change depending on how the pandemic develops.
CAN I WALK MY DOG?
Yes, but only one person is allowed to take the dog out for a walk and only when necessary – not as an excuse to go outside.
CAN I PICK UP FAMILY FROM THE AIRPORT?
Yes, it is understood to be justified to leave your home to pick up a family member from the airport. However, it is advised to avoid where possible. If you must, pick them up alone.
HOW DO I PROVE WHERE I’M GOING IF I’M STOPPED BY POLICE?
Police and other authorities have been given the right to demand any documentation they need to make you prove where you have been. While they will be applying common sense, it is recommended to keep all receipts or bank slips to prove where you have been just in case.
If you’re on the way to the launderette or dry cleaners, show your bags of clothes or your empty shopping bags if en route to the supermarket.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO THE SUPERMARKET ALONE?
The royal decree does not explicitly reference it, but security forces have advised that you do the shopping as a one-person job.
Mercadona, however, has issued new protocols pleading with shoppers to not enter as a family unit, saying that one person should do the shopping.
However, it told the Olive Press today that it is not going to ban children from entering when we asked if single parents can enter with their kids.
The supermarket giant also said it would be monitoring how many people are in the store while making sure people are kept one metre apart (read more here).
Security forces may step in if supermarkets become too crowded, as they did last week in Mijas, where elderly were prevented from entering and a police presence was required.
CAN I DROP OFF FOOD OR SUPPLIES TO RELATIVES?
The answer is yes. The royal decree specifically allows people to leave their homes to care for a dependent family member or person.
You could also, technically, visit your friend’s house to pick up medical supplies, given that going to the pharmacy for the same reason is including in the exceptions to the lockdown – although you’d likely have to be able to prove it if stopped.
CAN I GO FOR A RUN, CYCLE OR A JOG OR PLAY SPORTS?
The answer is a definitive no. The royal decree specifically prohibits all recreational and sports activities, telling residents to stay at home.
Just ask this English-speaking cyclist who was grabbed by police while travelling along the promenade.
CAN I GO FOR A WALK, EVEN IF MY DOCTOR RECOMMENDED IT?
You must stay indoors at all times – so the answer is no. You are not even permitted to walk up and down the stairs in your building as the touching of railings or walls could spread the infection to your neighbours.
CAN I RIDE MY MOTORCYCLE OFF-ROAD?
A big no-no. You can only leave your home for essential and/or justified purposes. A thrill-seeking motorbike ride does not fall under that category and will result in a fine.
CAN I RETURN HOME IF I WAS STAYING WITH A FRIEND DURING THE LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCEMENT?
If you and your family were not at home when the state of emergency was declared, it is perfectly justified to return to your home.
If you were all at a second residence, you may all return once to your main home but must remain there once you arrive.
WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING TO PROTECT HOMELESS PEOPLE?
Social services across Spain are trying to bring homeless people to town hall-funded centres to get them off the streets. If they do not comply they could face fines, but given their situations, will likely face jail time.