Summary of the Royal Decree Declaring the Alarm Status and action taken due to the COVID-19 crisis

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The Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14th March, declares a state of alarm for managing the health crisis situation caused by the COVID-19.
Given the international pandemic situation declared on March 11 by WHO and the high number of cases of COVID-19, the National Government applies the state of alarm, emergency and siege, to being involved in a health crisis involving serious disruptions to normal activities.
These are temporary measures that do not imply the suspension of any fundamental rights, as provided for in the Spanish Constitution (Art. 55)
Nor tax deadlines are suspended.
So, no deadlines are suspended for submitting tax declarations and self-assessments.

1. ALARM

  • A state of emergency is declared in order to deal with the health emergency, caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.
  • Its territorial scope affects the entire national territory.
  • The duration of the alarm condition is fifteen calendar days. Therefore, it will last until Sunday 30 March.

During the alarm status period, people may only use roads or public spaces to carry out the following activities, which shall be individually undertaken, unless accompanying persons with disabilities, children, elderly, or otherwise justified“.

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2. COMPETENT AUTHORITY

  • For the purpose of the alarm status, the competent authority shall be the Government.
  • Competent authorities will be delegated in their respective areas of responsibility, the defence ministers; Interior, Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda and Health.
  • In other competitions, other than Defense, Interior and Transport, competition will be for health.
  • Activates the Committee Situation as an organ of support for the government.
  • The members of the Forces and Security Forces of the State, the police forces of the autonomous communities and local corporations will be under the direct orders of the Minister of the Interior, for the purposes of this real decree, as necessary for protection of persons, property and places.
  • The enforcement officers can practice checks on people, property, vehicles, premises and facilities necessary to check, and where appropriate, prevent them from carrying out services and activities suspended in this royal decree, except those expressly exempt. To do so, they may make such orders and prohibitions necessary and suspend the activities or services that are being carried out.
  • Intervention services and assistance in emergency civil protection act under the functional dependence of the Minister of the Interior.
  • For the effective enforcement of the measures included in the present royal decree, the competent authorities delegated may require action by the Armed Forces.
  • Each Administration shall retain the powers under current legislation in the ordinary management of its services to adopt the measures necessary under the direct orders of the competent authority, for the purpose of the alarm.

 

3. LIMITATION OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE

a. Exceptions to the ban on going outside:

During the term of the alarm status people can only travel on public roads used to carry out the following activities:

  • Acquisition of food productspharmaceutical products and necessities.
  • Assistance centres, services and health facilities.
  • Moving to the workplace to carry out work, or professional activities.
  • Return to the place of habitual residence.
  • Assistance and care for the elderly, children, dependents, disabled or especially vulnerable.
  • Moving to financial institutions.
  • Due to force major or extreme need
  • Any other activity of a similar nature

Interpretative notes:


  1. From the present time, citizens cannot travel to notaries or public offices, except in cases of “extreme requirements or necessity”, which must be justified, especially when many services, especially in the public records office can be made via the internet, as in the request of single documents or certificates. Extreme circumstances can include the request to authorize a will in danger of death.
  2. Employees can require a certificate from their employers, who have to justify going to work. Employers may use their professional license or a certificate of their professional association.

b. Use of vehicles:

  • It allows the circulation of private vehicles for public use on roads to carry out those activities in the previous section.
  • It also allows for refuelling service stations.

c. Road closure:

  • The Minister of the Interior may decide to close a road or sections of road
  • There can also be restrictions on certain vehicles accessing roads.

4. PERSONAL BENEFITS AND MANDATORY searches

  • May be imposed performing compulsory personal services essential for achieving the purposes of this royal decree.
  • The competent authorities may agree to impose temporary requisitioning of all kinds of goods needed to fulfil its intended purpose.

5. EDUCATION SECTOR

  • Classroom and educational activity were suspended at all sites and stages, grades, courses and levels of education, including university education, as well as any other educational or training provided in other public or private activities.
  • There will be educational activities through distance modalities and “online”, whenever possible.

6. COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY, CULTURE, LEISURE, HOSPITALITY…

a. Rule for business: All public premises and retail establishments will be closed.

b. Exceptions for business; the following commercial establishments:

  • Food, beverage, products and essential goods, pharmaceutical establishments, health centres or veterinary clinics, optical and orthopaedic products, hygiene products, newspapers and stationery, fuel, tobacco, technology and telecommunications equipment, pet food, trade online, telephone or correspondence, dry cleaners, laundromats and professional conduct of business at home hairdressing
  • Any other activity or facility in the opinion of the competent authority in case of risk is suspended. It is enabled for this to the Ministry of Health.

c. When you have to go outside…

  • Must be made done individually, unless accompanying disabled or otherwise cause.
  • The stay on the premises will be strictly necessary.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Consumers and employees must maintain the safe distance of at the least one meter.

d. Culture and leisure.

  • The opening to the public of museums, archives, libraries and monuments are suspended.
  • All premises and establishments that hold public spectacles, activities, sports and leisure listed in the Annex are closed.
  • The activities of hotels and restaurants are suspended, except for those that can be provided only services delivery.
  • All local fiestas, parades and festivals are suspended.

e. Places of worship and ceremonies.

  • It allows attendance at places of worship and civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals
  • This is conditional on the adoption of measures to avoid crowds of people and to ensure attendees the opportunity to respect the distance between them, at the least one meter.

7. NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

  • All health authorities of the government of the country, as well as other officials and employees to service thereof, shall be under the direct orders of the Minister of Health as necessary for the protection of persons, property and places, may impose extraordinary services.
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, the administrations public regional and local keep management within its purview, the relevant health services.
  • The Minister of Health may exercise those powers needed with respect to the centres, services and health facilities privately owned.

8. TRANSPORT

The Minister of Transport is authorized to issue the necessary Acts and Regulations to establish conditions for mobility services in order to protect persons, property and places.

a. Quantitative measures:

  • Services of public passenger transport by road, rail, air and sea that are not subject to public contractor public service obligations (PSO) will supply with a reduction at the least one 50%.
  • The same services which are themselves subject to public contract or OSPwill reduce their offer, as a general rule, at the least 50%. Renfe is included, among others.
  • These same services that are of regional or local level that are under public contract or OSP, or are publicly owned, will maintain their offer of transport services.
  • It shall be ensured that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.
  • There will be specific criteria for transport between the mainland and territories, as well as transportation between islands.

b. Provision of the service.

  • It will be allowed only if it cannot be postponed.
  • As mandatory a daily cleaning of transport vehicles, according to the recommendations established by the Ministry of Health.
  • In the seated places it will seek the maximum possible separation between passengers.
  • The competent authorities may adopt all necessary additional measures to limit the movement of mass transportation where necessary.

9. FOOD SUPPLY

  • They take the necessary measures to ensure:
  1. The food supply in places of consumption and operation of services production centres, allowing the distribution of food from source to commercial outlets to the consumer.
  2. Where necessary, the establishment of health corridors to allow entry and exit of people, raw materials and finished products to or from establishments where food is produced.
  • They may involve companies or services and mobilize the Security Forces of the State and the Armed Forces.
  • They take the necessary measures to ensure customs transit, with priority for necessities.

10. ESSENTIAL SERVICES

  • It may take the necessary measures to ensure the supply of electricity, of products derived from the oil and gas naturally.
  • Operators of critical essential services critical infrastructure provided for in the Law 8/2011, of 28 April, will take the necessary measures to ensure their delivery.
  • So will those companies and other suppliers that are essential to ensure the supply of the population and essential services themselves.
  • The media office of public and private ownership are obliged to insert messages, advertisements and communications that the authorities consider necessary to issue.

11. FINES

Failure or resistance to the orders of the competent authorities in the state of alarm shall be punished according to law under the terms set out in Article Ten of the Organic Law 4/1981, of 1 June.


12. SUSPENSION OF DEADLINES

a. Procedural Court time limits.

  • They were suspended terms and suspended and interrupt the deadlines laid down in the procedural laws for all jurisdictional orders. The deadline limits will resume at the time when the royal decree lose force present or, where appropriate, the extensions of the same.
  • In the jurisdictional criminal suspension and interruption shall not apply to proceedings of habeas corpus, to the actions entrusted to guard services, the performances arrested on the orders of protection, urgent actions on surveillance prison and precautionary measures for violence against women or children. Neither urgent and urgent actions being investigated.

However, the judge or court may order the practice of any legal action necessary to avoid irreparable damage.

b. Administrative delays.

The suspended terms and deadlines for processing the procedures of the public sector entities are suspended. The deadlines will resume at the time when the royal decree loses its present force or, where appropriate, the extensions of the same.

The suspension of terms and disruption of deadlines apply to the entire public sector defined by Law 39/2015, dated 1 October (LPA). According to Article 2, the public sector comprises:

  • The General Administration of the State.
  • Administrations of the Autonomous Communities.
  • Entities that make up the Local Administration.
  • The institutional public sector.

However, the body responsible may agree, by reasoned decision, the management measures and instruction strictly necessary to avoid serious prejudice to the rights and interests of the person concerned in the proceedings and whenever it manifests its agreement, or where the party concerned declares his accordance with the deadline not be suspended.

c. Prescription and expiration of any legal actions.

Limitation periods and expiration of any actions and rights shall be suspended during the term of the state of alarm and, where appropriate, of the extensions, are adopted.

During the term of the state of emergency, the Government may issue successive decrees modify or expand the measures set out in this.

13. ENTRY INTO FORCE

The present royal decree came into force at the time of its publication in the Official Gazette, in a special issue, the second on Saturday.

Although the BOE does not specify the time was around eight o’clock in the evening on Saturday 14 March 2020.

14. MODIFICATION OF MARCH 17, 2020

It is Royal Decree 465/2020 of 17 March, amending Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March, the alarm state is declared for managing the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.

Modifications / clarifications on March 17:

The suspension of the terms and interruption of periods shall not apply to administrative procedures in the areas of affiliation, liquidation and contribution of the Social Security.

This article was brought to you by Expats Magazine of Pellicer Heredia International Lawyers




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