Sunday March 15th – Mojacar, Spain
Following the extraordinary events of the last few days in Spain, I thought it would be good to let everyone know what is happening here in Almeria.
Also to give you some advice if you are thinking of moving to Spain in the next few weeks or months, or if you have a removal booked from Spain back to the UK.
Yesterday evening, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, announced that there will a state of emergency within the whole of Spain from tomorrow morning, Monday 16th March, to last for 15 days. This is a direct response to Covid-19, the coronavirus, and it is meant to fight the spread of the virus, as the number of cases in Spain is now rising dramatically, and the world health organisation says that Europe is now the epicentre of the virus outbreak.
Update – Sunday 22nd March 2020 – State of Alarm in Spain extended to April 12th 2020
Update – Monday 23rd 2020 8.30pm – UK announces nationwide ‘lockdown’ similar to France and Spain, starting immediately.
The emergency measures are as follows
Restrictions on Movement
Everyone must stay at home, with the following exceptions
- Going to work
- going out shopping for basic needs like food etc
- Visiting Health Centres, Hospitals and Pharmacies
- Going to the Bank
- Walking your pets
- Going to take care of elderly people
- Going to the following places – Petrol Station, Vets, Paper/tobacco shops and Hairdressers
- Going anywhere else, as long as you can justify it is important (if you are stopped by the police)
- You should maintain a distance of a minimum of one meter between yourself and anyone else when you are out
All retail trade activity is forbidden so all shops must close apart from the following types of shops
- Supermarkets selling food and basic necessities
- Petrol Stations
- Tech & telecommunciation shops
- Pet food shops
- Dry cleaners/Launderettes
- Tobacconists/Paper shop
Bars and Restaurants
All bars and restaurants must close from tomorrow morning, but they are able to offer a home delivery service if they wish.
You are allowed to travel to and from work, however if it is possible to work from home you should do so.
There will no Festivals or parades during the lockdown, and the following will be closed.
- Theme Parks
- Leisure Centres
As well as this, all schools, from nurseries to Universities, were closed earlier this last week, and will remain shut.
So we are essentially in a state of lockdown, that will hopefully stop the coronavirus spreading. This will be enforced by all police forces in Spain, with additional help from the Army.
Whilst you are travelling, be prepared for regular checks on your status and reason for travel, and ensure you have all the necessary documentation with you – link to a post detailing these things here
Commercial Transport unaffected
However, one thing that has not been restricted is non private transport – namely goods vehicles and delivery vans operated by companies. This is so that essential supplies can still be delivered to the supermarkets, and so we can continue to buy food.
The Spanish health service is also very well prepared, or as prepared as they can be, for what is happening. They have worked hard to clear any back logs and have taken steps to ensure beds are available for any extra capacity by commandeering hotels if necessary. And Spain has lots of hotels.
Removals to and from Spain
If you were thinking of coming to Spain to look for a property, you will have to wait until this emergency has passed, as it will not be possible to fly to Spain until the restrictions have been lifted.
If you are looking to move from Spain back to the UK, then it would be wise to wait until this emergency has passed. However, we could carry out a video survey if you have a smartphone and want to start making arrangements during the lockdown.
If you have a removal booked with us, we will contact you over the coming days as the situation develops. At the moment of writing, the next trip will leave Mojacar on Tuesday 17th March, and all customers will hopefully receive their goods before the end of March.
Whilst this is a very extraordinary time for us all, this will pass hopefully soon.
A Professional Industry
The removals industry has always been pretty robust. As an industry we have weathered the foot and mouth crisis, the financial crisis, and countless other bumps in the road over the years. The one thing that has been constant is that a professional removal company has always been able to deliver the goods – no pun intended.
Travel restrictions are a necessary precaution. If you are considering moving at this time, or at any time in the future, it is worth remembering that a professional remover will have all the necessary permits, insurances, and other licences in place to allow them to legally cross borders and operate within the law.
Isolation in Spain isn’t all bad!
Of course, being in isolation is Spain is very different to being isolated in the UK. Being in isolation here means you can sit on a balcony or terrace with a book or a kindle in the Sun.
So that is just what I’m going to do now.
Take care, and keeping washing your hands regularly.