Speaking on behalf of the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), the force – one of whose rôles is patrolling highways – says vans are considered ‘complimentary private transport for merchandise’, meaning if they are being used for commercial purposes, they can carry two people.
This will only apply to vans where the rest of the space, other than the front seats, is being used for storing tools or materials ‘necessary for maintenance or repair actions on infrastructure and fixtures that guarantee continuity of services for the general public’.
Private contractors fall within this category as long as they are carrying out emergency work only – such as fixing a leak, repairing a boiler, replacing a broken window, or dealing with an electrical fault, for example.
No contractors are allowed to work on non-emergency jobs such as general home or commercial premises renovations or redecoration, except in properties that are permanently empty with no activity inside.
DGT boss Pere Navarro recalls that the lockdown rules state that ‘in transporting merchandise by road, two people are permitted to travel in the cabin of the vehicle where this is necessary due to the type of transport being undertaken’.
It has already been clarified that this includes lorries.
Vans used merely as private transport – instead of a car – must only carry a driver if they have just one row of seats.
Cars and other private vehicles must only carry a driver, or up to one passenger if that person is elderly, disabled or otherwise dependant since they are considered to be people needing others’ care.
But the passenger is required to sit in the back seat.
Children can travel in the same car as a parent or legal guardian whom they live with or who has full or partial custody of them, but only if there is no other adult at home to stay with them.
In a household with two parents, unless one of them is at work and is in an authorised industry considered ‘of public necessity’, one parent is required to stay at home with the children.
Where only one adult is at home and cannot avoid going out, children are allowed to accompany him or her.
Questions frequently asked by members of the public include whether a couple can go to the supermarket if the person who usually does the shopping needs help with lifting bags – due to injury, for example.
Authorities have answered that no, this is not permitted; if one half of the couple cannot manage the lifting, the other must do the shopping alone.