HMA Message to British nationals living in Spain or visiting the country

update 19/03/20  21.50

There are still lots of questions about returning to the UK from Spain, Here’s Ambassador Hugh Elliott’s latest message. Today the Embassy have also uploaded a Q&A to provide further guidance at this link: An update from Ambassador a Hugh Elliott

We advise British travellers who wish to return to the UK to make travel plans as soon as possible.  More info:


As police cars are now patrolling the main tourist areas in south Tenerife, the Cabildo has  issued a statement relating to the State of Emergency that came into force on the 15/3/2020 everywhere in Spain, including the Canaries. The Cabildo summarizes some of the measures which most directly affect the general public:

While the State of Emergency is in force, citizens are only permitted to move around in public to carry out the following activities. Only ONE member of the household unit may be out at the same time:

a) Acquisition of food, pharmaceutical products and basic necessities.
b) To attend health centres, services and facilities.
c) Journey to the workplace for professional or corporate services.
d) Return to usual place of residence.
e) Assistance and care of the elderly, children, dependents, people with disabilities or anyone who is especially vulnerable.
f) Journey to financial or insurance institutions
g) Due to a force majeure or urgent situation.
(h) Any other activity of a similar nature, which will have to be carried out individually unless accompanying a person with a disability, or for another justifiable reason.
Private vehicles will be allowed to circulate in public for the realisation of the activities listed above or to refuel in petrol and service stations.
Roads may be closed entirely or sections thereof.

Citizens are requested to carry out their duty of collaboration and not to impede any member of the authorities from exercising their functions.

All shops and businesses are temporarily closed to the public, with the exception of retailers selling food, drinks, basic necessities, pharmaceutical, medical, optical and orthopaedic products, hygienic products, hairdressers, newsagents, petrol stations, off-licences, technological and telecommunications equipment, pet food, online or telephone trading and correspondence, dry cleaners and laundries. Any other activity or establishment that the competent authority believes may pose a risk of contagion is now closed.

The amount of time spent in commercial establishments whose opening is permitted must be limited only to that strictly necessary for consumers to be able to purchase their food and basic necessities. The consumption of products within the establishments themselves is forbidden. In any case, crowds will be avoided and consumers and employees will be monitored to maintain the safe distance required of at least one metre in order to avoid possible contagion.

All museums, archives, libraries and monuments are now closed to the public, as are premises where public performances are held as well as sports and leisure activities indicated in the annex of this decree.

Hospitality and catering activities are also suspended, although home delivery services are exclusively permitted.

Likewise, celebrations, parades and local festivals are also cancelled.

Attendance at places of worship and civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals, are permitted on condition of the correct organisational measures to avoid crowds of people, depending on the size and characteristics of the places, in such a way as to guarantee attendees the possibility of respecting the distance between them of at least one metre.

Furthermore, the following measures applicable to internal transport are also adopted:
a) For public transport services for road, rail, air and sea passengers that are not subject to public contractor or public service obligations (PSOs), transport operators will reduce operations by at least one 50 %. By the decision of the Ministry for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, this percentage may change and specific conditions may be established.
(b) Public transport services for state-owned road, rail, air and sea passengers subject to a public contract or public service obligation will reduce their operations by at least the following percentages: Regular road traveller transport services – 50%; Air transport services subject to PSO – 50; Maritime transport services subject to navigation contract – 50 %. This decision takes into account the need to ensure that citizens can reach their places of work and basic services if necessary.
(c) Public transport services for road, rail and maritime passengers of autonomous or local competition which are subject to a public contract or public service obligation, or that are publicly owned, shall maintain their current transport offer. The Ministry for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda and the regional and local authorities with transport expertise may establish a percentage reduction of services if the health situation so requires, as well as other specific conditions concerning transport provisions. Adopting these measures will take into account the need to ensure that citizens can access their jobs and basic services if necessary.
(d) Without prejudice to everything set out in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), specific criteria shall be established for transport between the Spanish mainland and non-mainland territories, as well as for inter-island transport.
The government is also taking measures to ensure adequate food supply, product importation, electricity supply, etc.
Failure or resistance to the orders of the competent authorities during the State of Emergency shall be punished in accordance with the law