Spain’s military are out in full force across all of the country’s train and bus stations to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. They are tasked with ensuring that all passengers maintain a distance of at least one meter between each other, as dictated by the State of Alarm restrictions.
The measures appear to be working. Many passengers at Madrid’s Atoche Train Station have commented that other ‘passengers are actually keeping their distance’, and that fewer people are actually using public transport – proof that people are, in fact, staying at home.
Military troops are also ensuring that passengers travelling through the country’s stations are actually using public transport for ‘essential’ travel only. Public transport can only be used, for example, for travel to and from work, or caring for a ‘vulnerable/elderly’ family member. Those travelling for work-related reasons should also carry documentation and/or a certificate from their employer, to avoid heavy fines for not complying with the State of Alarm rules.
The armed forces from Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME) have been drafted in by the Spanish Government to fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Spain, in cities such as Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, León, Las Palmas, Tenerife and Malaga. They are assisting the country’s law enforcement officers (local and national police, and Guardia Civil) with duties, such as patrolling the streets, train stations and airports. They are also carrying out other necessary duties, such as disinfecting transport and public spaces.