On 14 March 2020, the Spanish Government declared a State of Alarm, obliging people to stay at home and establishing orders to limit the free movement of people and the closure of businesses. At the beginning, the State of Alarm was supposed to have a duration of 15 days. Nevertheless, it has already been extended twice, and is presently expected to remain in effect until 26 April 2020 at 00:00 hours.
If the police believe that an individual has broken the aforementioned rules – or if an individual refuses to follow the government instructions – a police officer may issue a sanction according to the following regulations:
- Organic Law 4/2015 on the protection of citizen security, establishes sanctions with a fine of 100 to 600 euros, as well as fines of 601 to 30,000 euros if it involves disobedience or resistance to agents.
- Law 33/2011, General Public Health, provides fines of 3,001 to 60,000 euros for conduct, or omissions, that may cause a risk or serious harm to the health of the population. These fines could be up to 600,000 euros if the aforementioned conduct causes a very serious risk or harm to the health of the population.
Exemptions from the restriction of free movement of people:
People can only circulate on public roads to do the following activities, which must be executed individually, unless accompanying persons with disabilities, underage children, older people, or for other justified causes:
- Acquisition of food, pharmaceuticals and essential goods.
- Attending health centres and for health services.
- Travel to the workplace to carry out their work.
- Return to their habitual residence.
- Assistance and care of older people, dependent children, disabled or particularly vulnerable people.
- Travel to financial and insurance entities.
- Due to force majeure or serious need.
- Any other activity of a similar nature, which shall be performed individually, unless accompanying people with disabilities or for any other justified cause.
Exemptions to the closure of venues and businesses
The government has listed those venues and businesses that must be closed (e.g. all retail stores, shops that sell non-essential goods, cinemas, leisure centres, parks, museums, sports centres, etc. Hotel and restaurant activities have also been suspended, excluding home delivery services which can be provided).
The complete list of businesses that are required to close is available in the Appendix of the Order at: https://www.boe.es/eli/es/rd/2020/03/14/463/con
Businesses that satisfy basic needs can remain open and their employees can travel to work, provided they cannot work from home. The following businesses may continue to operate commercial establishments of food, beverages, basic necessities, pharmacies, medical facilities, veterinarian centres, optical and orthopaedic products, hygienic products, newspapers and stationery, automotive fuel, tobacconists, technological and telecommunications equipment, pet food, internet, telephone or mail commerce, dry cleaner, laundry and hairdresser services at home. In any event, the activity of any establishment which, in the opinion of the competent authority, may pose a risk of contagion shall be suspended.
Employees who cannot work from home and have to go to the workplace, must carry with them an authorisation to justify that they are going to work.
If you require assistance to help you with a specific case, please don’t hesitate to get back to us. Suárez de Vivero attorneys are available to assist you with these and other workplace issues. For more information, visit https://suarezdevivero.com/
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