Royal Order 463/2020, of 14 March, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.
The following text is for information only. The only valid one is the one published in Spanish in the Boletín Oficial del Estado and that can be read by clicking here.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization elevated the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 to an international pandemic. The rapidity of developments at national and international level requires immediate and effective action to address this situation. The extraordinary circumstances involved undoubtedly constitute an unprecedented health crisis of enormous magnitude both because of the very high number of citizens affected and because of the extraordinary risk to their rights.
Article 4, paragraph b), of Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June, on states of alarm, exception and siege, enables the Government, in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by Article 116.2 of the Constitution, to declare a state of alarm, in all or part of the national territory, when health crises occur that involve serious disturbances to normality.
Within this framework, the measures provided for in this regulation form part of the Government’s determined action to protect the health and safety of citizens, contain the progression of the disease and strengthen the public health system. The temporary measures of an extraordinary nature that have already been adopted by all levels of government must now be intensified without delay in order to prevent and contain the virus and mitigate the health, social and economic impact.
In order to address this serious and exceptional situation, it is essential to declare a state of alert.
The measures contained in the present royal decree are those that are indispensable for dealing with the situation, are proportionate to the extreme gravity of the situation and do not involve the suspension of any fundamental rights, as provided for in article 55 of the Constitution.
By virtue thereof, on the proposal of the First Vice-President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency, Relations with Parliament and Democratic Memory, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Defence, and the Ministers of the Interior, and of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, and following deliberation by the Council of Ministers at its meeting of 14 March 2020
Article 1. Declaration of the state of alarm.
Under the provisions of Article 4, paragraphs b) and d), of Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June, on states of alarm, exception and siege, a state of alarm is declared in order to address the health emergency caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.
Article 2. Territorial scope.
The declaration of a state of alarm affects the entire national territory.
Article 3. Duration.
The duration of the state of alarm declared by this royal decree is fifteen calendar days.
Article 4. Competent authority.
For the purposes of the state of alert, the competent authority shall be the Government.
2. For the exercise of the functions referred to in this royal decree, under the superior direction of the President of the Government, the competent authorities shall be delegated, in their respective areas of responsibility:
a) The Minister of Defence.
b) The Minister of the Interior.
c) The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda.
d) The Minister for Health.
Likewise, in areas of responsibility not falling within the competence of any of the Ministers indicated in paragraphs a), b) or c), the Minister of Health shall be the delegated competent authority.
3. The Ministers designated as the competent authorities delegated in this Royal Decree are empowered to issue the orders, resolutions, provisions and interpretative instructions which, in the specific field of their action, are necessary to guarantee the provision of all services, ordinary or extraordinary, for the protection of persons, goods and places, by adopting any of the measures provided for in Article 11 of Organic Law 4/1981 of 1 June 1981.
The acts, provisions and measures referred to in the preceding paragraph may be adopted ex officio or at the reasoned request of the competent regional and local authorities, in accordance with the legislation applicable in each case, and must pay attention to vulnerable persons. To this end, no administrative procedure shall be required.
4. During the period of validity of the state of alert, the Situation Committee provided for in the first additional provision of Law 36/2015 of 28 September on National Security is activated as a support body for the Government in its capacity as the competent authority.
Article 5. Collaboration with the delegated competent authorities
1. The members of the State Security Forces and Corps, the Police Forces of the Autonomous Communities and the local corporations shall be placed under the direct orders of the Minister of the Interior, for the purposes of this royal decree, insofar as this is necessary for the protection of persons, goods and places, and may impose extraordinary services on them due to their duration or nature.
2. The agents of the authority may carry out the checks on persons, goods, vehicles, premises and establishments that are necessary to verify and, where appropriate, prevent the services and activities suspended by this royal decree from being carried out, except those expressly exempted. To this end, they may issue the necessary orders and prohibitions and suspend the activities or services being carried out.
To this end, citizens have the duty to collaborate and not hinder the work of the agents of authority in the exercise of their duties.
3. In those Autonomous Communities that have their own police forces, the Monitoring and Coordination Commissions provided for in the respective Security Boards shall establish the necessary mechanisms to ensure the provisions of the previous two sections.
4. The intervention and assistance services in civil protection emergencies defined in article 17 of Law 17/2015, of 9 July, on the National Civil Protection System, shall act under the functional dependence of the Minister of the Interior.
5. The Minister of the Interior may issue the orders, resolutions, provisions and instructions he deems necessary to all subjects included in the scope of application of Law 5/2014, of 4 April, on Private Security.
6. For the effective fulfilment of the measures included in this Royal Decree, the competent delegated authorities may require the action of the Armed Forces, in accordance with the provisions of article 15.3 of Organic Law 5/2005, of 17 November, on National Defence.
Article 6. Ordinary management of the services
Each Administration shall keep the powers granted by the legislation in force in the ordinary management of its services to adopt the measures it deems necessary within the framework of direct orders from the competent authority for the purposes of the state of alarm and without prejudice to the provisions of articles 4 and 5.
Article 7. Restriction of the freedom of movement of persons.
During the period of the alert state, persons may move on public roads only for the purpose of carrying out the following activities
a) Acquisition of food, pharmaceutical products and basic necessities.
b) Assistance to health centres, services and establishments.
c) Travel to the workplace to carry out their work, professional or business activities.
(d) Return to the place of habitual residence.
e) Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, disabled persons or particularly vulnerable persons.
f) Travel to financial and insurance entities.
g) Due to force majeure or a situation of need.
h) Any other activity of a similar nature to be carried out individually, unless accompanied by disabled persons or for another justified reason.
Similarly, private vehicles shall be allowed to drive on public roads to carry out the activities referred to in the previous section or to refuel at petrol stations or service stations.
3. In any case, the recommendations and obligations issued by the health authorities must be respected during any journey.
4. The Minister of the Interior may decide to close down roads or sections of roads for reasons of public health, safety or traffic flow, or to restrict access to certain vehicles on those roads for the same reasons.
When the measures referred to in the previous paragraphs are adopted ex officio, the regional administrations exercising powers to enforce State legislation on traffic, vehicle circulation and road safety shall be informed in advance.
The State, regional and local authorities responsible for traffic, vehicle traffic and road safety will ensure that the public is made aware of measures that may affect road traffic.
Article 8. Temporary requirements and compulsory personal benefits.
- In accordance with the provisions of article eleven b) of Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June, the competent delegated authorities may agree, ex officio or at the request of the Autonomous Communities or local entities, to carry out temporary requisitions of all types of goods necessary for the fulfilment of the purposes set out in this Royal Decree, in particular for the provision of security services or critical and essential operators. When the requisition is agreed ex officio, the corresponding regional or local administration will be informed beforehand.
2. Under the same terms, the performance of obligatory personal services essential for the achievement of the aims of this royal decree may be imposed.
Article 9. Measures of containment in the field of education and training
- Classroom-based educational activity is suspended in all the centres and stages, cycles, grades, courses and levels of education referred to in Article 3 of Organic Law 2/2006, of 3 May, on Education, including university education, as well as any other educational or training activities provided in other public or private centres.
2. During the period of suspension, educational activities will be maintained through the distance and online modalities, whenever possible.
Article 10. Containment measures in the field of commercial activity, cultural facilities, recreational establishments and activities, hotel and restaurant activities, and other additional activities.
- The opening to the public of retail premises and establishments is suspended, with the exception of retail shops for food, beverages, basic necessities, pharmaceuticals, medical, optical and orthopaedic products, hygiene products, hairdressing, press and stationery, motor fuel, tobacconists, technological and telecommunications equipment, pet food, internet, telephone or mail order business, dry-cleaning and laundry services. Any other activity or establishment which, in the opinion of the competent authority, may pose a risk of contagion is suspended.
2. The permanence in the commercial establishments whose opening is allowed must be the strictly necessary for the consumers to be able to make the acquisition of food and products of first necessity, being suspended the possibility of consumption of products in the own establishments.
In any case, crowding shall be avoided and consumers and employees shall be controlled to maintain a safety distance of at least one metre in order to avoid possible contagion.
- The opening to the public of museums, archives, libraries, monuments, as well as of the premises and establishments where public shows, sports and leisure activities indicated in the annex to this royal decree, are to be suspended.
4. Hotel and restaurant activities are suspended, and only home delivery services may be provided.
5. Verbenas, parades and popular festivals are also suspended.
Article 11. Measures of containment in relation to places of worship and civil and religious ceremonies
Attendance at places of worship and civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals, is conditional on the adoption of organisational measures consisting of avoiding crowds of people, depending on the size and characteristics of the places, in such a way as to ensure that those attending are able to respect the distance between them of at least one metre.
Article 12. Measures to strengthen the National Health System throughout the national territory.
All the civil health authorities of the public administrations of the national territory, as well as the other officials and workers in the service of the same, shall remain under the direct orders of the Minister of Health insofar as this is necessary for the protection of persons, goods and places, and may impose extraordinary services on them due to their duration or nature.
Without prejudice to the above, the regional and local public administrations shall maintain the management, within their sphere of competence, of the corresponding health services, ensuring at all times their proper functioning. The Minister of Health reserves the exercise of any powers that may be necessary to guarantee the cohesion and equity of the provision of the aforementioned service.
3. In particular, the full disposal of the civil authorities responsible for the area of public health, and of the employees who provide service in this area, shall be ensured.
4. These measures shall also ensure the possibility of determining the best distribution on the territory of all technical and personal means, in accordance with the needs that will become apparent in the management of this health crisis.
5. The delegated competent authorities shall exercise their powers in order to ensure that the personnel and the health centres and establishments of a military nature contribute to strengthening the national health system throughout the national territory.
6. The Minister of Health may also exercise such powers as may be necessary for these purposes in respect of privately owned health centres, services and establishments.
Article 13. Measures to ensure the supply of goods and services necessary for the protection of public health.
The Minister of Health may:
a) Issue the necessary orders to ensure the supply of the market and the operation of the services of the production centres affected by the shortage of products necessary for the protection of public health.
(b) intervene in and temporarily occupy industries, factories, workshops, holdings or premises of any kind, including privately owned health centres, services and establishments, as well as those operating in the pharmaceutical sector
c) Temporarily requisition all types of goods and impose mandatory personal services in those cases where it is necessary for the adequate protection of public health, in the context of this health crisis.
Article 14. Measures in the field of transport.
1. The following shall apply to all means of transport, regardless of the administration responsible for them:
a) The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda is empowered to issue the acts and provisions that, in the specific sphere of his action, are necessary to establish conditions for mobility services, whether ordinary or extraordinary, for the protection of persons, goods and places.
(b) The acts, provisions and measures referred to in paragraph (a) above may be adopted ex officio or at the reasoned request of the competent regional and local authorities, in accordance with the legislation applicable in each case. No administrative procedure shall be required for this purpose.
2. The following measures applicable to inland transport are also adopted
(a) For public road, rail, air and maritime passenger transport services not subject to a public contract or public service obligation (PSO), transport operators shall reduce the total supply of operations by at least 50 %. By decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, this percentage may be changed and specific conditions laid down.
(b) Public passenger transport services by road, rail, air and sea that are subject to a public contract or PSO shall reduce their total supply of operations by at least the following percentages:
i. Medium-distance rail services: 50 %.
ii. Medium-distance rail services-AVANT: 50 %.
iii. Regular road passenger services: 50 %.
iv. Air transport services subject to PSOs: 50 %.
v. Maritime transport services subject to a navigation contract: 50 %.
Local rail services will maintain their service offer.
By decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, the percentages of reduction for the above-mentioned services may be modified and specific conditions laid down. This resolution will take into account the need to ensure that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.
(c) Public passenger transport services by road, rail and sea under regional or local jurisdiction which are subject to a public contract or PSO, or are publicly owned, shall maintain their transport offer.
The Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda and the regional and local authorities with responsibility for transport may establish a percentage reduction in services if the health situation so requires, as well as other specific conditions for the provision of such services.
In adopting these measures, account shall be taken of the need to ensure that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.
(d) Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), specific criteria shall be established for transport between the Peninsula and non-peninsular territories, as well as for transport between islands.
(e) For all means of transport, operators of passenger transport services are obliged to carry out a daily cleaning of the transport vehicles, in accordance with the recommendations established by the Ministry of Health.
(f) Online ticketing systems must include a sufficiently visible message during the ticketing process advising against travel except for reasons that cannot be postponed. By order of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, the characteristics and content of this announcement may be established.
g) On services where the ticket provides for a seat or cabin, transport operators shall take the necessary measures to ensure the maximum possible separation between passengers.
3. Transport operators shall make the necessary adjustments to comply with the percentages set out in this article as uniformly as possible between the different services they provide and may raise with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda any issues requiring interpretation or clarification.
If for technical or operational reasons it is not feasible to apply the established percentages directly from day one, the services must be adjusted as quickly as possible, which may not take longer than five days.
4. By decision of the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, the conditions necessary to facilitate the transport of goods throughout the national territory shall be established in order to guarantee supply.
5. The competent delegated authorities may take any additional measures necessary to limit the movement of public means of transport that are necessary and proportionate to preserve public health.
Article 15. Measures to ensure food supply
1. The delegated competent authorities shall take the necessary measures to ensure
(a) Food supplies at places of consumption and the operation of production site services, enabling food to be distributed from origin to commercial outlets selling to the consumer, including warehouses, logistics centres and markets at destination. In particular, where it is necessary for safety reasons, it may be agreed that vehicles carrying out the transport of the above goods will be accompanied.
(b) Where necessary, the establishment of sanitary corridors to allow the entry and exit of persons, raw materials and processed products to and from establishments where food is produced, including farms, auctions, feed mills and slaughterhouses.
2. The competent authorities may also agree on the involvement of businesses or services and the mobilisation of State security forces and armed forces to ensure the proper functioning of the provisions of this Article.
Article 16. Customs transit.
The competent delegated authorities shall take the necessary measures to ensure customs transit at entry points or border inspection points located in ports or airports. In this connection, priority shall be given to products which are of primary necessity.
Article 17. Guarantee of supply of electricity, petroleum products and natural gas
The competent delegated authorities may adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the supply of electrical energy, petroleum products and natural gas, in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of Law 24/2013, of 26 December, on the Electrical Sector, and Articles 49 and 101 of Law 34/1998, of 7 October, on the hydrocarbons sector.
Article 18. Critical operators of essential services
1. The critical operators of essential services provided for in Law 8/2011, of 28 April, which establishes measures for the protection of critical infrastructures, shall adopt the necessary measures to ensure the provision of the essential services which are theirs.
2. This requirement shall also be adopted by those companies and suppliers which, not being considered critical, are essential to ensure the supply of the population and the essential services themselves.
Article 19. Public and privately owned media.
The public and private media are obliged to insert messages, announcements and communications that the delegated competent authorities, as well as the autonomous and local administrations, consider necessary to issue.
Article 20. Penalty regime.
Non-compliance or resistance to the orders of the competent authorities in the state of alarm will be sanctioned in accordance with the law, under the terms established in article ten of Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June.
First additional provision. Foreign personnel accredited as members of diplomatic missions.
Foreign personnel accredited as members of the diplomatic missions, consular offices and international organisations located in Spain, both for journeys within national territory and to their country of origin or to third States, where they are also accredited, are exempt from the limitations on freedom of movement, provided that these journeys are related to the performance of official duties.
Second additional provision. Suspension of procedural deadlines.
- Terms are suspended and time limits provided for in procedural laws are suspended and interrupted for all court orders. The calculation of time limits shall be resumed at the time when the present royal decree or, where appropriate, any extensions thereto become ineffective.
2. In the criminal jurisdiction, suspension and interruption shall not apply to habeas corpus proceedings, proceedings entrusted to the guard services, proceedings with detainees, protection orders, urgent prison surveillance proceedings and any precautionary measures relating to violence against women or minors.
Likewise, in the investigation phase, the competent judge or court may agree to conduct those proceedings which, because of their urgent nature, cannot be postponed.
3. With regard to the rest of the jurisdictional orders, the interruption referred to in the first paragraph shall not be applicable to the following cases:
a) The procedure for the protection of the fundamental rights of the person foreseen in articles 114 and following of Law 29/1998, of 13 July, regulating the Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction, nor to the processing of the judicial authorizations or ratifications foreseen in article 8.6 of the mentioned law.
b) The procedures for collective conflict and for the protection of fundamental rights and public freedoms regulated by Law 36/2011, of 10 October, which regulates social jurisdiction.
c) Judicial authorization for non-voluntary detention on grounds of mental illness, as provided for in Article 763 of Law 1/2000 of 7 January on Civil Procedure.
(d) The adoption of measures or provisions for the protection of minors as provided for in article 158 of the Civil Code.
4. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the judge or court may agree to take any legal action that is necessary to avoid irreparable damage to the rights and legitimate interests of the parties to the proceedings.
Third additional provision. Suspension of administrative deadlines.
- Terms are suspended and time limits for the processing of proceedings by public sector entities are interrupted. The calculation of time limits will resume at the moment that this royal decree or, if applicable, its extensions, becomes invalid.
2. The suspension of terms and the interruption of deadlines will be applied to the entire public sector as defined in Law 39/2015, of 1 October, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations.
- Notwithstanding the above, the competent body may, by means of a reasoned decision, agree to the measures of organisation and instruction strictly necessary to avoid serious damage to the rights and interests of the interested party in the procedure and provided that the interested party agrees, or when the interested party agrees that the time limit should not be suspended.
4. This provision shall not affect the procedures and decisions referred to in paragraph 1 where these concern situations closely linked to the facts justifying the state of alert.
Fourth additional provision. Suspension of limitation and prescription periods
The periods of limitation and expiry of any actions and rights shall be suspended during the period of validity of the state of alert and, where appropriate, any extensions adopted.
Fifth additional provision. The authority of the members of the Armed Forces.
In accordance with the third additional provision of Law 39/2007, of 19 November, on the Military Career, in relation to articles 15.3 and 16 e) of Organic Law 5/2005, of 17 November, on National Defence, members of the Armed Forces in the exercise of the functions provided for in this royal decree shall have the status of agents of the authority.
Final disposition first. Ratification of the measures taken by the competent authorities of the Public Administrations.
- All the provisions and measures previously adopted by the competent authorities of the Autonomous Communities and local entities on the occasion of the COVID-19 coronavirus are ratified, which shall continue in force and shall produce the effects foreseen therein, provided that they are compatible with this Royal Decree.
2. The ratification referred to in this provision is without prejudice to the judicial ratification provided for in article 8.6.2.º of Law 29/1998, of 13 July.
Second final provision. Qualification.
During the validity of the state of alarm declared by this royal decree, the Government may issue successive decrees modifying or extending the measures established in it, of which it must report to the Congress of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of article eight.two of Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June.
Third final provision. Entry into force.
The present royal decree shall come into force at the moment of its publication in the “Official State Gazette”.
Given in Madrid, on 14 March 2020.
The First Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency,
Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory,
CARMEN CALVO POYATO
List of facilities and activities whose opening to the public is suspended in accordance with Article 10.3
Leisure and entertainment:
Other premises or facilities similar to those mentioned.
Cultural and artistic:
Squares, enclosures and bullfighting facilities.
Other enclosures and facilities:
Premises or closed areas.
Football, rugby, baseball and similar fields.
Basketball, handball, volleyball and similar fields.
Skeet shooting, pigeon shooting and similar fields.
Tennis courts and similar.
Skating rinks, ice hockey, roller hockey and similar.
Boxing, wrestling, judo and similar premises.
Permanent circuits for motorcycles, cars and similar.
Racetracks, dog tracks and similar.
Fronton courts, ratchet courts, squash courts and similar.
Bowling alleys and similar.
Billiard and similar halls.
Other premises, facilities or similar activities.
Open spaces and public roads:
Cycling, motorcycling and car racing routes and similar.
Motocross, trial and assimilated routes.
Nautical tests and exhibitions.
Aeronautical tests and exhibitions.
Other premises, facilities or similar activities.
Discos and dance halls.
Sports and recreation:
Premises or enclosures, without spectators, for the practice of sports and recreation for public use, in any of its modalities.
Games and bets:
Establishments for collective games of money and chance.
Raffles and tombolas.
Other premises and facilities assimilated to those of recreational activity of Games and bets in accordance with the provisions of the sectorial regulations on gaming.
Specific betting premises.
Cultural and leisure premises:
Amusement parks, fairs and similar.
Open spaces and public roads:
Verbenas, parades and popular celebrations or folkloric manifestations.
Leisure and entertainment:
Drinking bars without live music performances.
Drinking bars with live music performances.
Hotel and restaurant business:
Taverns and wine cellars.
Cafeterias, bars, café-bars and similar.
Chocolate shops, ice-cream parlours, tea rooms, croissant shops and similar establishments.
Restaurants, self-service restaurants and similar establishments.
Hotel bars and restaurants, except for serving guests.