Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Spanish authorities impose a two-week nationwide lockdown starting March 15 to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Spain

This alert began 14 Mar 2020 20:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Nationwide lockdown
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: At least through March 29
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions, entry restrictions, increased security

Summary
Spanish authorities announced on March 14 that they would impose a nationwide lockdown on the entire country from March 15 to last through at least March 29. The lockdown, which is intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), comes a day after Spain declared a national emergency. All businesses except grocery stores and pharmacies will be closed.

As part of the emergency measures, the country's Ministry of Interior will control all police forces, including the local and regional law enforcement departments.

The lockdown, impacting around 47 million people, comes after health officials registered 5,753 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Health officials are also urging residents to remain indoors. Other measures include:

  • Ban on unnecessary travel
  • Suspension of demonstrations or gatherings of any type, and of public or private events of any type (including cultural, sporting, recreational, or religious events); suspension of discotheque and nightspot operations.
  • Closure of resorts, swimming pools, and gyms.
  • Closure of museums and other cultural sites.
  • Closure of all schools at all levels and suspension of classes and school activities, including professional and university courses, except distance learning classes and medical or healthcare training.


Authorities could possibly include additional requirements and restrictions based on disease activity throughout the country.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Advice
Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Reconfirm all travel arrangements if traveling to, from or via Spain. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Government of Spain (Twitter): twitter.com/desdelamoncloa

Spain's Ministry of the Interior (Twitter): twitter.com/interiorgob