Can I go out for a walk or a run? Common questions answered about Spain's state of alarm

Police in a Malaga street.
Police in a Malaga street. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • Emergency rules order people to stay at home and only go out if necessary; police have been told to step up fining

Can I go out for a run? And for a walk in the countryside, as my doctor recommended? The Real Decreto 463/2020 which has already been published in the Official State Gazette, restricts the free movement of citizens and only authorises the opening of food stores, pharmacies, health centres, opticians and shops selling orthopaedic products, newsagents and stationery, petrol stations, tobacconists, vets, shops selling technical equipment and telecommunications and dry cleaners and laundrettes, while trading online, by telephone or post is also authorised.

Mounted police officers stop a woman on the seafront promenade.

Mounted police officers stop a woman on the seafront promenade. / ÑITO SALAS

Hairdressing salons were in the original list of businesses allowed to open, but the government rectified on Sunday night. Only home hairdressing services are now allowed, to maintain levels of hygiene among elderly and vulnerable citizens.

Fines will be issued more readily by police now to people breaking rules although most offenders have just received a warning so far.

People are advised to practise social distancing if they do have to go out, keeping a distance of around 1.5 metres from other people.

Here is a question and answer summary to help guide readers as understood at the time of the latest update (Friday 20 March). Information is subject to change.

If I go out do I have to carry ID?

Yes, everyone must be able to show national photo ID or passport if stopped in the street.

How will they check where I'm going?

Police can ask for whatever documents or evidence they deem necessary to confirm the reason for a person to be outside their home. However, they will apply common sense. Keep receipts when shopping or withdrawing cash to justify being in the street. If going to work, get your boss to prepare a signed letter you can show if possible. Or better still, work from home if you are able.

If I go to the supermarket, do I have to go by myself? Should I walk or go by car?

People should go alone unless with children, elderly or disabled people who depend on them and there is no alternative. You can go on foot or by car.

Can more than one person travel in one car?

Couples at the same workplace (with proof) can reportedly travel together but the passenger should sit in the back on the opposite side. Children or others who cannot travel alone can be in the vehicle with the driver if the journey is for one of the permitted essential reasons.

The Transport Minister announced on Thursday that only one passenger would be allowed per taxi to protect drivers, with the usual exceptions for children, elderly or disabled people who require care.

Will measures be taken to avoid crowds building up in supermarkets?

If necessary the security forces can establish order outside and inside supermarkets.

Can I take food round to my elderly mother's house?

Yes. Caring for dependents is one of the reasons for going out that is specifically included in the decree.

Can I go to my friends' house to fetch items such as masks or gloves?

Yes, but you would need to prove it. The decree allows you to go to pharmacies to buy health products, and so if you need to fetch these from somewhere else, it would be included in the exceptions.

Can I go out for a run or to do other sport?

No. The order, which allows no exceptions when it comes to leisure and sports activities, is to stay at home. You can't even exercise in the communal areas of your block of flats, as the virus can be transmitted by touching things.

My doctor says I should excercise for diabetes, hypertension or similar. Can I go out to walk?

Yes, if it is on doctor's instructions and very close to home. Practise common sense as you are in a vulnerable category. You can be accompanied if you are a dependent person. Be prepared to justify why you are out.

Can I take my dog out?

Yes, only for the essential time and very short distances. And never with someone else unless they are dependent and you can prove it.

If I am currently in my holiday home and I have to go home to work, can I travel with my family?

Yes, the journey back to a main residence with all the family for work reasons is allowed, but you can't go back again.

Can I go and fetch my son from the airport? Can two people go?

Recommendations are to avoid this and for the passenger to get a taxi. If you have to go you must go alone.

What about the homeless?

Social services will take them to shelters. They could be detained if they refuse to comply with the decree.

Can I go out to buy a lottery ticket?

It's not considered a cause for going out, although the decree does authorise tobacconists to open, and so if they also operate as official lottery vendors, a receipt would have to be shown. As in all cases the advice is to apply common sense - lottery can be bought online.