Is driving during the coronavirus allowed?


Published 30/04/2020
Conducir Coronavirus

The state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to establish measures to avoid it from spreading. The Directorate General of Traffic together with the State’s Security Forces have established whether driving during the coronavirus is possible and in which circumstances.

Under which circumstances can we drive?

Article 7 of Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14th Match governs the limitation of the free movement of people. Driving is forbidden, although it is true that there are some exceptions for extremely necessary and justified journeys to be made. If you get in the car without it being necessary or justified, you could be significantly penalised. These are the exceptions:

  • If you have to go to buy food, medication or essentials. If you live far away from the supermarket, you can go in your vehicle to do the shop and then come back.
  • If you need to go to a health centre. Like in the previous instance, you can only use your car if your health centre is far from where you live.
  • If you are one of those that has to keep working and you need to go by car: health care workers, pharmacists, supply centre workers, etc. Workplaces tend to issue a document that justifies this circumstance.
  • There are also other exceptions, like making journeys to take care of disabled or dependent people or the elderly. Equally, you must travel alone in your vehicle and return home when you finish your task.
  • Also, if you have to go to the bank. You should normally walk there, but using your vehicle will equally be justified if you live far away from the branch and you have some affairs you need to attend to.
  • And lastly if you need to get petrol, but you must always follow the rules that have been imposed: going alone and then going home if none of the previous exceptions are applicable.

Don’t forget that you cannot drive for any other reason. If you do, you will face serious penalties.

When is it allowed to drive during the coronavirus?

How many people can travel in the vehicles?

In cars only one person may travel. Two people can only travel in the following most common justified circumstances: taking someone to see the doctor, accompanying disabled people or other similar justified reasons. The driver will always be in the front with the other person in the back on the opposite side.

Likewise, you must observe the recommendations that have been imposed on all citizens to avoid the risk of infection:

  • Keep the minimum safety distance with other pedestrians: a minimum of 1 metre.
  • Clean your hands when entering and leaving the house. Whilst you’re out of the house, you can also use hand sanitiser where necessary. Remember to also adopt good hygiene when coughing or sneezing, always doing so into your elbow or a tissue, immediately throwing it away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth during the journey. We know that we often do this subconsciously but you need to be aware of it when going out in the car.

With regard to using motorbikes, you cannot take another person with you. Be aware that, in this case, observing the mandatory distance measures is impossible. However, where completely necessary, if you have to take a dependent or disabled person somewhere and you don’t have any other alternative, you can take them. For example, for an urgent visit to the doctor.

So now you know when and how you can drive during the coronavirus state of emergency. The best thing is to avoid making any journeys unless completely necessary and they must always be justified. You mustn’t forget that this is a temporary measure aimed at reducing the spread of the virus and that there are significant penalties if you breach these restrictions. It’s our duty to be responsible.

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