We get asked a lot about what the current situation in Spain is like, and there seems to be a lot of misinformation in the British press about what’s going on elsewhere in the world. So, we thought we’d provide a little Covid update for Spain.
This information is valid as of today, 19th November 2020. If you have any questions, and are visiting from the UK, we recommend visiting the gov.uk website.
First of all there is no second lockdown in Spain! Each autonomous region (of which there are 17) are allowed to make their own rules for their region. The government only steps in if the cases hit a certain level. At the time of writing, no region has told residents to stay indoors completely.
Currently all regions have closed their borders. This means no one can leave or enter the region. For us near Alicante, we cannot leave the Valencian Community which is a large area of 23,255 km². Other regions such as Murcia, have told people that they cannot leave their own municipality (town or village). These restrictions are being reviewed regularly, though most are in place until at least early December.
The government put a nationwide curfew in place (excluding the Canary Islands) from midnight – 6am. The autonomous regions can extend these hours if needed, for example the curfew in some regions runs from 10pm – 6am.
There is a limit in all regions of the number of people who can gather either indoors or outside – this has been set at 6 people, apart from those who live together.
Bars & restaurants
Bars and restaurants are still open in most regions, though they do have limited capacity, which again depends on the region. In some regions bars and restaurants must close at 10pm, though all obviously have to be closed before the curfew to allow people to get back home in time.
In the regions of Catalonia and Navarre all bars and restaurants are closed, and in Murcia only street cafes are allowed to open, i.e. sitting outside only. In the Basque Country bars and restaurants are open but alcohol cannot be sold between 8pm and 8am.
Since we’re now in November, it’s a bit too cold most days to sit on the beach however, you can do so. There have been rules in place since the summer over social distancing and people have been really good at following these.
You don’t have to wear a mask if sat on the beach but you do if walking along. There are also marked entrances and exits, and signs with the various rules.
Face masks have been mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 in all public spaces in Spain since May, this includes if you are going for a walk in a quiet area. You cannot enter a shop, shopping mall, bar, cafe, restaurant, bank, office etc without a mask. You can take your mask off when eating or drinking at a table, but it must be worn at all other times including going to the toilet or up to the bar.
There are exceptions when doing sports or riding a bike, but even then most people are wearing masks all the time. There are large fines in place if you don’t wear a mask, and you will hear shouts of “mascarilla!” if you try to enter anywhere without one!
All establishments have a hand sanitising station out side and you are required to use it before entering. You will get shouted at with “manos!” (hands) if you don’t!
Schools are open as normal, unless there is a case of Covid within the school. All children over the age of 6 must wear a mask all day at school, the only exception is when eating lunch. This includes wearing a mask for PE lessons.
Class sizes have been made smaller, with a maximum of 15 children per class. The usual social distancing rules are in place and parents/guardians must not enter the school.
Anyone entering Spain must produce a negative PCR test certificate, taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. This counts for Spanish residents returning from abroad, as well as visitors.
We hope that some of the information in this Covid update for Spain is useful to help clarify the current situation. Any questions feel free to ask.