Open Letter to Lord Frost

Open Letter to Lord Frost

Dear Lord Frost,

You probably won’t have heard of me, but I’m a regular correspondent with your partner in crime, the prime minister. Perhaps he has mentioned me in passing as that irritating women with the MBE that lives in Spain.

I am writing to thank you for the light relief you have provided Remainers over recent months. Surviving Brexit was always going to be difficult, but your ongoing posturing and your empty threats have been a source of great amusement. How we laughed back in May when you described the relationship with the EU as a “bit bumpy”. And then you excelled yourself with the “command paper” in July. That one really had us rolling in the aisles!

You may think the British public are too stupid to grasp that the ‘unworkable’ deal you despise now is, in fact, the same amazing deal you previously touted. I’ll confess that, like many a pro-European, the idea that the British public – or at least those supporting Brexit – are stupid, has crossed the mind. But I think you, and perhaps the PM too, are slightly smarter than you appear. Having persuaded a large swathe of the country to want to forget about Brexit altogether is, perhaps, your one success.

The apparent bolshiness, and the inappropriate threats, have done little to build back trust with our European friends. Whether your tactics have been a deliberate attempt to undermine UK/EU relations, or merely the bungled attempts of an inexperienced, misguided “negotiator”, will continue to be a topic for debate. You would certainly not be alone in government for simply lacking the relevant skills, knowledge and tact required for the job. The Cabinet is full of ministers out of their depth, whose only ‘strengths’ are their support for Brexit and their unwillingness to criticise the boss.

While you continue to get stroppy, and underestimate your negotiating partners, the UK is collapsing under the strain. The ports are not ready, despite having had years to prepare. Businesses are struggling with staff shortages and supply chain issues. Prices are rising and shelves are empty. And still no sign of the sunlit uplands or the “benefits” of leaving the EU.

The arguments over whether your approach is designed to offend, or just does so through incompetence, will no doubt continue. Until you’re replaced by the next Brexit-loving so-called negotiator. We must remember that your predecessors were not exactly skilled in the negotiation arts either. With hindsight, we can almost back look on David Davis’s tenure fondly, but the less said about Dominic Raab, the better!

No doubt we have much more bullying, foot-stamping, throwing-the-toys-out-of-the-pram rhetoric still to come. Are we supposed to be impressed that you will not shy away from unilaterally suspending the Protocol? Certainly, the EU will not be, nor any other country considering a trade deal with Britain. Maybe it’s just all for show, and only designed to please the Brexit devotees.

We shall soon see whether the EU will, as you suggest, take the UK’s proposals “seriously”. Will they listen? Of course – they are grown-ups and skilled negotiators. Will they be flexible? Yes, as much as protecting their members, their market and their international commitments will allow. Will they bend over and take one because you get shouty and offensive? Absolutely not.

What has surprised some observers is the government’s apparent lack of understanding of how the European Union actually operates. Considering we were a part of the EU for so long, you’d have thought someone in government would have worked it out by now. What also surprised many was the government’s unwillingness to honour an international treaty that it had not only negotiated but had signed in good faith. Or so we thought.

In an effort to at least be constructive in my criticism, I have been doing a bit of, hopefully useful, research. It seems there is a huge range of advice out there for would-be negotiators. I’m sure you have had some training already, but I suspect your response in the classroom was similar to your dealings with the EU – a failure to listen and too little humility. I won’t insult you with specific recommendations – I’m sure you can manage a Google search all on your own. But I would suggest you avoid the Harvard Business School’s “Everyone can be a negotiator”, as that’s clearly not the case.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Wilson MBE
Chair of Bremain in Spain

You can read recent articles by Sue Wilson re Brexit negotiations below …

8 September: Getting Brexit undone:

21 July: Frost’s command plan for the NI Protocol:

20 June: Latest round of Brexit negotiations:

20 May: Lord Frost, chief Brexit negotiator: EU relationship a bit bumpy:

Bremain Presents Evidence re The Elections Bill

Bremain Presents Evidence re The Elections Bill

On Tuesday 7 September, the government’s Elections Bill returned to the House of Commons for the second reading. The Commons debate coincided with an evidence gathering session of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on the same subject.

The PACAC currently has 14 ongoing inquiries, of which the Elections Bill Inquiry is the latest.

You can watch the PACAC oral evidence session from 7 September here.

The next oral evidence session will take place from 8.55 a.m. on Tuesday 14 September.

Due to the controversial nature of the Bill, many individuals and organisations submitted written evidence to the committee, Bremain in Spain included.

You can access a full list of all the written evidence submitted, including from: Best for Britain, Brexpats – Hear our voice, British in Europe and Age UK here.

To read the evidence presented by Bremain in Spain – which includes testimonials from our members as to why their voting rights are so important to them – open the PDF

We thank everyone who contributed their thoughts on the government promise to remove the arbitrary 15-year voting rule for British citizens abroad. Whilst we agree that the majority of the Bill is undemocratic, we sincerely hope that this one positive element of the bill does not turn out to be the baby that gets thrown out with the bath water. We want our democratic voting rights restored – we just don’t want our re-enfranchisement to be at the expense of the disenfranchisement of others. We shall be following the progress of the Bill with interest.

You can read our Chair, Sue Wilson’s recent article on giving evidence to PACAC here.

Bremain Glossary of Terms

Bremain Glossary of Terms

“With many changes to our circumstances post-Brexit, we’re increasingly confronted with new and often bewildering terminology. Some of the old terminology can be pretty confusing too!  Bremain has therefore put together a Glossary of Terms which we hope will make things clearer and aid understanding.
We hope you will find it useful”.
Sue Wilson – Chair – February 2021



You can find the Glossary Terms below or you can download them as a PDF HERE

EFTA Member States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.


EHIC – The European Health Insurance Card gives individuals the right to access medically necessary state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in an EU or EFTA member state. It was a benefit of EU membership that covered (& in some cases, still covers) medically necessary state-provided healthcare at a reduced cost or, in many cases, free of charge, until the planned return date.

Though new cards will no longer be made available (being replaced by the new GHIC), existing cards are still valid until they expire, when they can be replaced by the new GHIC. Certain groups, such as S1 holders, (e.g., pensioners) can apply for a post-Brexit replacement EHIC card, which they can continue to use. An EHIC may not be used in the country you reside in.

EU Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.


Frontier worker – a person who is resident in one state but regularly works in one or more states as an employed or self-employed person.


GHIC – the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives UK residents, regardless of nationality, the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union. Whilst similar to the EHIC it replaces, it cannot be used in the EFTA countries of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. EU residents that previously qualified for the EHIC, e.g., S1 holders, will also qualify for the GHIC, but like the EHIC, it may not be used in the country you reside in. The GHIC is for UK residents and S1 form holders registered in the country from 1 January 2021. 


Lawfully resident – an EU citizen or a UK national lawfully resides in the host state in accordance with free movement law before the end of the transition period. This includes the right of residence, irrespective of whether it is a permanent right of residence, its duration (e.g., an arrival in the host state one week before the end of the transition period and residing there as a job-seeker is sufficient and irrespective of the capacity in which these rights are exercised (as a worker, self-employed person, student, job-seekers, etc).

NIE – a fiscal (tax) number that is necessary to carry out legal activities in Spain. It is a white A4 sized paper, and you retain the same number for life (just like your British social security number). The NIE number should not be confused with the Spanish green residency document which has the NIE number on it (see ‘Residencia’). Having only an NIE number certificate does not mean that you are a legal resident of Spain and it does not cover healthcare. You will need an NIE number in order to buy property, a car or connect to utilities.

Posted Worker (or ‘Detached Worker’) – an employee sent by their employer to carry out a service in another country on a temporary basis.


Padrón – an abbreviation of ‘empadronamiento’, a padrón is a certificate obtained from your local town hall (ayuntamiento), that provides proof of residence in the municipality and the habitual residence therein.etc).

Everyone living in Spain must be registered on the local “Padrón” of the current place of residence. If you live in several locations, you should only register in the place where you live the most. The document has a short-shelf life and should be renewed at regular intervals, especially if your residencia document does not contain your current address details.

Residencia – a term often used to refer to the green EU residence certificate, or more recently, green EU residence card, is proof of residency provided by the Spanish authorities – now replaced by the introduction of the new TIE. It contains your name and tax number (NIE), and although no longer being issued, remains proof of residency. It provides evidence of the same legal rights, including those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, as the new TIE. There is no legal requirement to replace your existing green residencia with the new TIE, though there are benefits to doing so, e.g., the new card is more durable and would be more easily recognised by other EU states when travelling.

S1 – a certificate of entitlement issued to individuals who live in one Member State but have their healthcare costs covered by another, for example state pensioners, and entitles them access to state-provided healthcare on the same basis as domestic nationals.

Third country national – a national of a country that is not an EU Member/EFTA state. As of 1 January 2021, UK nationals are now 3rd country nationals in Europe, and will lose rights associated with EU citizenship, such as freedom of movement.

TIE – the ‘Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero’, or Foreigners Identity Card is a biometric ID card that contains the identity details of a foreigner who lives in Spain.

Now the UK is outside the EU, and a 3rd country, this will replace the older green residency document/card going forward. For those that were legally resident in Spain before the end of the Brexit transition period, the TIE will also identify those whose rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Withdrawal Agreement – The international agreement between the UK and the EU that sets out the respective rights and obligations of both parties, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.


UKNSF – United Kingdom Nationals Support Fund is a UK-government funded scheme that provides practical support for UK nationals struggling with the bureaucratic process of registering as a resident. Working especially with the most vulnerable, the three groups providing support in Spain are: Babelia, Age in Spain and IOM.

Autumn/Winter Events

Autumn/Winter Events

10th December

 Virtual event

16.30 CET

Europe’s economy: How can it be reset?
Speakers: Laurence Boone, Tadeusz Kościński, Maarten Verwey
Register to attend here


10th December

 Live Panel Event on Facebook & Twitter

18.00 – 19.00  GMT

Good Law Project
Cronyism: how can Government justify handing top jobs to their mates?
Speakers: Jolyon Maugham QC, Clive Lewis MP, Dr. Helima Begum
Register to attend here

Good Law Project

10th December

Online event,
Live streamed

19.00 – 20.00 GMT

The Guardian Live
A Year in Westminster with:
Marina Hyde & John Crace

Cost: £5 & booking fee
Book tickets here

Guardian Event

3rd December

Online event

19.00 – 21.00 GMT

N.E. Surrey for Europe/Mole Valley European Movement
Johnson’s Great Brexit Deal – how far have we got?
Guest Speaker: Prof. Michael Dougan
Register to attend here

Michael Dougan

3rd December

Online event

12.00 – 13.00 CET

Going Global:
The Brexit Enquiry
The transition period comes to an end this year – are you ready?
Lee McDarby talks to Vicky Pryce & Charlie McGreevey
Register to attend here

Brexit 31220

2nd December

Online event

18.30 – 20.00 GMT

Islington in Europe
EU Nationals – understand your options post-Brexit
Speakers: lawyers from Wilson solicitors & Wesley Gryk solicitors will answer questions
Register to attend here

Brexit EU nats 021220

25th November


17.00 – 17.40 CET

British Embassy Q&A exclusive for Bremain members

Featuring Lorna Geddie, Regional Consular Policy Advisor & Bremain council

Register to attend here

British Embassy

24th November

Online event

19.00 GMT

Oxford for Europe

“Our Democracy & the Rule of Law – Who is Threatening them & Why?”

Speakers: Jessica Simor QC & Peter Jukes, Writer/Activist

Register to attend here

Jessica Simor & Peter Jukes

21st November

Online Conference

Times tbc

Stay European

Campaign for EU associate membership scheme

To express an interest in taking part, email:

Stay European

17th November


12.00 – 13.00 CET

European Parliament UK Liaison Office

The Final Hurdle – Will the EP Consent to the Brexit trade deal?
Moderator: John Peet (The Economist)
Speakers: MEPs Kati Piri & Christophe Hansen

Register to attend here

EU Nov

12th November

Online event

20.00 – 21.00 CET

Liberal Democrats in Europe

Citizens’ rights post Brexit for UK nationals living in the EU

Presented by Lord Oates

Register to attend here

Lord Oates

12th November


15.00 GMT

Tony Blair institute for Global Change & YouGov

How the pandemic has changed attitudes to globalisation & technology

Speakers: Tony Blair, Indra Nooyi & Stephan Shakespeare

Register to attend here

Tony Blair YouGov

3rd November

Live on Slido & You Tube

 13.00 – 14.00 GBT

UK in a Changing Europe

Transatlantic relations & the US election

Chaired by Anand Menon

Register to attend here

UK in a Changing Europe

15th October
Online event

20.00 BST

In Limbo Book Launch

Guest speakers include:
Ian Dunt, Elena Remigi, Lord Greaves

To register your interest, click here

In Limbo

15th October

12.00 BST

Respect our Rights, Keep your Promises
Placard Protest & live stream.
Speakers include Terry Reintke MEP

To join the event on Facebook, click here

Rights & Promises

8th October
All day lobby

19.00 Virtual Rally

European Movement UK
Online lobby & #No2NoDeal virtual rally
Sign up to take part here
Supported by Grassroots For Europe


29th September
18.00 – 19.00 BST

UK in a Changing Europe
Beyond Brexit Live
With Lisa Nandy MP & Anand Menon.
Register here

Sept 29th
23rd September

20.00 – 21.30 BST

Ian Dunt Online Event
How to be a liberal.
Hosted by Bath for Europe & Cambridge for Europe
Register here

Ian Dunt event 230920

16th September
19.00 BST

EU Citizens in the UK Webinar:
Challenges, Stories & What Next?
Guest speakers:
Matt Rodda MP
Elena Remigi – In Limbo
Monique Hawkins – The 3 Million

EU Citizens Event
12th September

15.00 – 18.30 BST

BBC Proms EU Flags
Details being confirmed, Covid measures will apply
Reserve a place here
EU Flag Mafia event 120920
3rd September

12.30 – 14.00 BST

European Parliament
Liaison Office
Live Webinar:
The European Parliament & Future EU-UK trade relations
Register here

EP Event
3rd September

19.00 BST

Grassroots For Europe Webinar:
Britain’s road back to Europe. How quickly can Brexit be reversed? Featuring journalist Will Hutton
Register here

GFE event 030920
Lockdown in Spain

Lockdown in Spain

On 14 March 2020, Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez announced the lockdown to the nation, effectively banning people from leaving their homes except to go to work or buy essential supplies.

The ‘state of alert’, initially scheduled to last for 15 days, is reviewed on a fortnightly basis, and has and will be extended as appropriate. The Spanish government will continue to monitor the effectiveness of their lockdown measures, and further extensions will be considered, as and when necessary, to keep the public safe.

The lifting of restrictions will be phased in as appropriate, with the timing of each new phase being considered on a regional basis.

Read the STOP PRESS section for the latest updates as they happen. You can also find USEFUL LINKS at the bottom of the page. 


June 20: ‘State of alert’ ends at midnight June 21

After 14 weeks of lockdown measures, ‘the ‘state of alert’ is finally coming to an end. Mobility restrictions will be removed, but hygiene & safety measures, to protect against a resurgence of the coronavirus, will remain in place. These measures include the compulsory use of face masks when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres.

The “new normality” measures will remain in place until the pandemic is considered to be over.

Please note that any further updates, relating to future coronavirus measures, will appear on our new webpage: The “New Normality”

JUNE 14: Spain prepares for the final phase of lockdown measures from Monday 15 June

Most regions of Spain will enter the final de-escalation phase on 15 June, leading up to the end of the ‘state of alert’ on 21 June.

Phase 3 changes to lockdown measures

Exercise: all time bands completely removed

Meetings: Maximum number now 20 people but still observing social distancing & safety measures

Play areas: Public swings and playgrounds will open

Shops: All can now open, maximum capacity of 50%

Shopping centres: Common areas open at 40% capacity & observing social distancing measures; shops within shopping centres open at 50% capacity

Markets: 50% of the usual stalls can open

Hotels: Opening of common areas, including swimming pools & spas, at 50% capacity

Bars & Restaurants: Terraces open at 75% capacity, with a maximum occupancy of 20 people per table, indoor areas at 50% capacity

Pubs & clubs: 1/3 of its capacity, excluding dance floors

Funerals: Maximum 50 people in open spaces or 25 in closed spaces

Weddings & religious sites: Maximum of 150 people outdoors, 75 indoors, but not more than 75% maximum capacity

Cinemas, theatres: Pre-assigned seats with 50% of the capacity

Outdoor shows: maximum 800 people, seated & respecting social distancing

Museums, exhibition halls, cultural shows & libraries: maximum capacity of 50% & groups of up to 20

Casinos, gaming & recreational rooms: 50% capacity

Active & nature tourism: Allowed with groups of up to 30 people, or 20 people with a guide

Recreational centres, zoos & aquariums: 50% capacity, limited to 1/3 of capacity in closed spaces

Beach: Bathing is allowed on the beaches respecting social distancing & safety measures

Sports: Competitive sport can return, sports centres at 30% capacity


The use of a mask is mandatory on public roads, outdoor spaces & in closed spaces, when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of at least 2 metres

JUNE 11: Compulsory 14-day quarantine will end July 1

The government are taking a series of steps to re-activate the tourist industry and have given a green light to a pilot scheme in the Balearic Islands.

From June 15, German visitors will be allowed to visit the Balearics – a similar scheme proposed for the Canaries was rejected by the regional authorities. This option will not be available for tourists from Britain, though talks are underway with the British authorities. Other regions are being invited by the government to launch their own pilot schemes.

Tourists arriving in the Balearics will have to complete a health form, have their temperature taken, provide contact details & confirm where they will be staying.

A similar process will be applied at all airports once Spain enters the ‘new normality’.

JUNE 10: Cabinet approve Royal Decree for the ‘New Normality’

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, announced yesterday measures that will be put in place until the government declares “that the crisis is over”. These safety measures will take effect once the ‘state of alert’ comes to an end on June 21.

The decree, which will be published in due course, includes the mandatory use of face masks in closed spaces, where a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be observed. The application of restrictions will fall to regional authorities. The legislation will also set out safety measures to be observed in schools, workplaces, hotels and shops.

JUNE 10: Cabinet approve Royal Decree for the ‘New Normality’

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, announced yesterday measures that will be put in place until the government declares “that the crisis is over”. These safety measures will take effect once the ‘state of alert’ comes to an end on June 21.

The decree, which will be published in due course, includes the mandatory use of face masks in closed spaces, where a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be observed. The application of restrictions will fall to regional authorities. The legislation will also set out safety measures to be observed in schools, workplaces, hotels and shops.

JUNE 5: New phase changes from 8 June

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has announced the areas that will change phases on June 8. 52% of the Spanish population will now be in Phase 3 of the de-escalation process.

Central government will allow regional authorities to take control of the de-escalation process and decide how long this last phase should last.

Phase 1 to Phase 2

  • Castilla y León
  • Cataluña: Barcelona, Metropolitana Norte, Metropolitana Sur & Lleida
  • Madridnidad Valenciana will stay in phase 2.

Phase 2 to Phase 3

  • Andalucía
  • Aragón
  • Asturias
  • Islas Baleares
  • Canarias
  • Cantabria
  • Castilla-La Mancha: Guadalajara & Cuenca
  • Cataluña: Alt Pirineu i Aran, Terres de l’Ebre & Camp de Tarragona
  • Extremadura
  • Galicia
  • La Rioja
  • Navarra
  • Melilla
  • Murcia
  • País Vasco

Areas not mentioned will stay in their current phase. The Comunidad Valenciana will stay in phase 2.


For more Covid-related news (in English), go to the government website:

For more news on this story, read El Pais here:

JUNE 3: Final extension to ‘state of alert’ agreed by parliament

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, secured a sixth and final extension today for the ‘state of alert’. The emergency powers were put in place on March 14, with the aim of halting the spread of the coronavirus. The measures will now stay in place until June 21 – a total of 14 weeks.

Next week, the Cabinet will approve a Royal Decree regarding health regulations and measures that will be in place as Spain exits the crisis.

These measures and regulations will be implemented jointly with regional governments, until such time as a vaccine is available.

MAY 31: Further relaxation of lockdown measures from June 1

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has announced the latest relaxation of lockdown measures, effective from June 1. These measures are expected to last for 14 days, though some regional authorities have requested permission to speed up the process. Over 32 million Spanish residents – 70% of the population – will now be in phase 2 of lockdown measures.

Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2:

  • Andalucia – Granada & Málaga
  • Valencian Community – Castellón, Valencia, Alicante
  • Castilla-La Mancha – Ciudad Real, Albacete, Toledo
  • Murcia – Totana
  • Catalonia – Girona, Cataluña Central, Alt Penedès, El Garraf
  • Castilla y León – area of El Bierzo

Moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3:

  • Balearic Islands – Formentera
  • Canary Islands – La Gomera, El Hierro & La Graciosa

For further details on what’s allowed during lockdown phase 2, scroll down this webpage.


MAY 26: Quarantine for overseas visitors will be lifted on 1 July

At an inter-ministerial meeting yesterday, conducted by video call, government ministers agreed to lift the coronavirus quarantine for visitors from overseas.

Foreign Minister, Arancha González said that “the most difficult part is behind us. From July we will gradually reactivate international tourism, we will lift the quarantine and ensure safe health conditions.”

MAY 23: Foreign tourists can return to Spain from July

Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez today announced the latest government measures during the coronavirus crisis and confirmed that the virus reproduction rate is now at 0.20.

The tourist sector can now start preparing for the summer season with Spain being open to foreign tourist from July. Sánchez encouraged Spaniards to start planning their vacations and said tourism would return “in safe conditions”.

In addition, Sánchez confirmed that the Spanish football championship will recommence w/c 8 June.

Read more in El Pais here:


MAY 23: Lockdown restrictions loosened in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants

New measures will take effect, regardless of which phase municipalities are currently in, as long as social distancing measures are observed:



  • bars and restaurants can open – capacity restricted to 40%
  • restrictions on exercising during scheduled timeslots will be lifted
  • outdoor markets can open – with restrictions on occupancy
  • churches can open – capacity restricted to 50%
  • funerals can be attended by 15 people indoors, 25 outdoors

For those municipalities already in Phase 1

  • meetings with friends can increase from 10 to 15 people
  • outdoor sports facilities can be used – maximum 30% capacity

Further details can be found, in Spanish, in Boletín Oficial del Estado No. 144, on the government website:


MAY 22: New changes to lockdown phases effective from Monday 25 May

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has announced further areas of Spain that will change phases on 25 May.


  • Castilla y León: Ávila, Segovia, Soria, Burgos, Palencia, León, Zamora, Salamanca y Valladolid.
  • Cataluña: zonas sanitarias de ciudad de Barcelona, Metropolitana Sud y Metropolitana Nord.
  • Madrid


  • Andalucía: Almería, Córdoba, Cádiz, Huelva, Jaén y Sevilla.
  • Aragón: Huesca, Zaragoza y Teruel.
  • Asturias
  • Islas Baleares: Ibiza, Menorca y Mallorca.
  • Canarias: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura y La Palma.
  • Cantabria
  • Castilla-La Mancha: Guadalajara y Cuenca.
  • Cataluña: zonas sanitarias de Campo de Tarragona, Alto Pirineo y Arán y Las Tierras del Ebro.
  • Extremadura: Cáceres y Badajoz.
  • Galicia: Lugo, La Coruña, Orense y Pontevedra.
  • Murcia
  • Navarra
  • País Vasco: Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya y Álava
  • La Rioja
  • Ceuta
  • Melilla

The whole of the Valencian Community remains in Phase 1.


What’s allowed in Phase 2

  • Restaurants (those without terraces), theatres and cinemas can open but ‘with limitations’ – 1/3 capacity and with table service
  • Outdoor cultural events can be held with a maximum of 400 people – but only if seated and with social distancing measures in place.
  • Cultural gatherings indoors can be held with a maximum of 50
  • Historic visitor attractions (not theme parks) and monuments can open with 1/3 capacity, and for pre-arranged group or guided visits only.

For further information, read Spain in English here:

MAY 21: ‘State of alert’ extended until 7 June

Congress has narrowly voted in favour of a further 2-week extension to the ‘state of alert’, to 7 June.

It is expected that Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez will ask for one further and final extension after this one. The timing would then coincide with the national coronavirus de-escalation plan, which will be coming to an end, late June, across most of the country. 

On 20 May, the number of deaths recorded rose slightly to 110, after 3 consecutive days of less than 100 deaths. The number of new cases daily also continues to fall.

The Prime Minister told Congress, “The state of alarm will not last one day longer than necessary. Nobody has the right to throw away what we have all achieved together”.

For more on this story, read El Pais here:

MAY 20: The wearing of face masks is made mandatory from 21 May

The new rules regarding the compulsory wearing of face masks will come into effect on Thursday 21 May, except in certain circumstances.

See graphic from N332 (Road Safety Association) for further details or read the Boletín Oficial del Estado no. 142, from the Agencia Estatal here:

MAY 18: The wearing of face masks to become mandatory in public spaces

On Sunday May 17, Health Minister, Salvador Illa announced that the Ministry of Health will shortly make the wearing of face masks compulsory in public spaces. Until now, it has only been required to wear masks on public transport. Work is currently under way to draft a ministerial order, which will be published “in the coming days”.

It is likely that the wearing of masks will become obligatory in businesses and closed public spaces, but it is unclear as to whether they will be required on the street.

MAY 18: Relaxation of exercise restrictions in some areas

The current measures allocating exercise timetables to specific groups of people are likely to be relaxed in some areas. At present, municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants are exempt from these restrictions, and all residents are free to exercise at any time of day. They must, however, abide by other regulations, i.e. once a day only, maximum of 1 hour, within 1 km radius of their residence and with only one other family member.

These timetable restrictions will soon also be removed for municipalities with up to 10,000 inhabitants.

Further details will be announced shortly, but read here more in El Pais:

MAY 17: Prime Minister Sánchez to ask Congress for one last extension to ´state of alert´

The Spanish PM made a televised address yesterday afternoon, announcing his intention to request one last extension, this time for one month. He said the de-escalation process would be completed in half of the country by the beginning of summer.

He stated that the lockdown was working and that “the path we are taking is the only one possible”.

For the full story, read the article in El Pais here:

MAY 16: Lockdown restriction changes – areas moving to new phases effective from 18 May

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, announced changes this weekend to the lockdown levels in certain areas. Further information will be available soon.

Phase 0 to Phase 1

  • Malaga
  • Granada
  • All of Valencian Community
  • Some areas of Castilla & León
  • All of Cataluña, except for Metropolitan Barcelona
  • Cuidad Real
  • Toledo
  • Cuenca

Phase 1 to Phase 2

  • Islands of Formentera, La Gomera, El Hierro & La Graciosa

Source: N332 – Road Safety Association

MAY 16: Non-essential travel restrictions extended for international travellers

Effective immediately, restrictions for non-essential travel have been extended until 15 June.

The order stipulates that the authorities may turn away EU citizens and their relatives for public health reasons, if they are not “registered as residents of Spain, or headed directly to their place of residence in another members state, Schengen-associated state or Andorra”.

The travel restrictions will therefore extend beyond the current termination date of the ´state of alert´.

Source: Boletín Oficial del Estado – No. 136, 15 May.

For further information (in Spanish), go to the official government website here:

Or read more on this subject in El Pais here:

May 12: Two-week quarantine for all overseas travellers from 15 May

The Spanish government has ordered a two-week quarantine for all overseas travellers entering the country in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Incoming travellers will have to remain indoors except to shop for essentials such as food and medicine.

The quarantine will remain in force throughout the duration of the “state of alert”, which is currently due to end on 24 May.

The measures apply to all travellers, including Spanish citizens returning to the country. Only lorry drivers, airplane and ship crews, cross-border workers and health staff who are entering Spain to work will be exempt.

Read more on this story from El Pais here:

MAY 11: British Embassy provides updates re Phase 1 de-escalation measures

As of today, many parts of Spain are moving into Phase 1, while others remain in Phase 0. The timetables & existing rules for walks & exercise remain in place during both phases, but regional governments may introduce some changes.

One important rule change is regarding travelling in private vehicles. Those who live in the same residence will now be able to travel in the same car, occupying all of the seats, & without the need to wear masks.

Please see the infographics for further details but note that these do not include all measures. Full details can be found on the Spanish government website here:

For further details direct from the British Embassy, go to their Facebook page here:

MAY 9: Spanish government announce areas of Spain that will implement Phase 1 next week

From Monday 11 May, selected areas will implement Phase 1 of de-escalation measures, expected to last for two weeks. In some regions, the designated areas have been selected based on “health zones” rather than provinces. Travel outside of your province will not be permitted.

Those areas not selected will remain in Phase 0 for the time being. Further announcements will be made in due course.

For further details, in Spanish, read the Agencia Estatal ‘Boletín Oficial del Estado´ here:

Or read the article – “As half of Spain moves to Phase 1 of coronavirus deescalation, what will change?” – in El País here:

MAY 6: State of Alert extended until May 24

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has today secured a fourth extension to the state of alert. He warned that a further extension of ‘several more weeks’ would be needed to see Spain through the four-stage de-escalation process. Sánchez stressed the need to limit freedom of movement in order to defeat the virus, saying that it would be a ‘grave irresponsibility, an absolute and unforgivable error’ to end the state of alert too soon.


MAY 2: Prime Minister announces the lifting of some lockdown restrictions, effective May 4

  • Small businesses, such as bookstores, garages, hardware stores, clothing or shoe repair workshops, hairdressers, will be able to open with the following conditions:

⇒ Only by prior appointment
⇒ One customer per employee only
⇒ Special timetable for seniors (to coincide with their allotted exercise time slots)

  • Restaurant and bars may open for takeaway food only, with orders being placed over the phone/on the internet
  • Face masks will be obligatory on public transport -14.5 million masks will be distributed via transport hubs, municipalities & social institutions
  • Given the low level of infections, the Spanish islands of Formentera, El Hierro, La Graciosa & La Gomera will see further relaxation of lockdown measures

The prime minister also announced his intention to request a further two-week extension to the ‘state of alert’.

For further information, read El Pais in English here:

Or read El Mundo in Spanish here:


MAY 1: Full conditions of relaxation of lockdown restrictions regarding exercise – effective from May 2 2020

Translated from BOE –

Article 2. Movements allowed for the practice of physical activity.

  1. People aged 14 and older may circulate on roads or spaces for public use for the practice of physical activities permitted by this order, in accordance with article 7.1(e), (g) and (h) of Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.
  2. For the purposes of this order, the non-professional practice of any individual sport that does not require contact with third parties, as well as walks, is permitted.
    Such activities may be carried out once a day and during the time slots provided for in Article 5.
  3. During walks you can go out accompanied by one person with whom you live. However, those persons who have to be accompanied may also go with a person employed by a care home or regular caregiver.

Non-professional individual sports that do not require contact can only be performed individually. However, persons who have to be accompanied may go out with a person with whom they live, a person employed by a care home or a regular caregiver.

  1. Walks shall be taken no more than one kilometre from the home. This limitation shall not apply to the non-professional practice of any individual sport, this being permitted within the municipality where you reside.
  2. Persons who have symptoms or are in home isolation due to a diagnosis for COVID-19 or who are in a period of home quarantine because they have had contact with any person with symptoms or diagnosed with COVID-19 may not make use of the permissions contained in paragraph 1. In addition, residents of senior social health centres may not make use of such permission.
  3. The movements referred to in this Article do not affect those generally permitted in Article 7 of Royal Decree 463/2020, March 14, as well as under Order SND/370/2020, of April 25, on the conditions under which outings by children must take place during the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

Article 3. Requirements for avoiding contagion

  1. During the practice of the physical activities authorised under this order, individuals must maintain a distance of at least two metres from others.
  2. Avoid busy areas and spaces where people may gather.
  3. As far as possible, the physical activity permitted under this order must be carried out continuously, without stopping unnecessarily in streets or public spaces. When it is necessary to stop in the street or a public space, due to the physical condition of the individual, this pause should only be for the time strictly necessary.
  4. All the prevention and hygiene measures related to COVID-19 recommended by the health authorities must be observed.
  5. To enable persons to maintain safe distances, local authorities may redistribute the use of public spaces to favour pedestrians and cyclists, in that order.

Article 4. Permitted spaces.

  1. Persons may circulate on any road or public space, including authorised natural spaces and green areas, provided these respect the limits established in this order.
  2. It is not permitted to enter closed sports facilities to practice the activities allowed under this order.
  3. It is not permitted to use a motorised vehicle or public transport to travel to streets or public spaces in order to practice the activities allowed under this order.

Article 5. Time slots.

  1. The following time slots are established for the practice of the activities allowed under article 2.2:
  2. a) Individual sports and walks may only take place between 6 am and 10 am and 8 pm and 11 pm.
  3. b) Persons who need to be accompanied and persons over 70 may practice individual sport and walk between 10 am and 12 pm and between 7 pm and 8 pm. Persons over 70 may be accompanied by a person between the ages of 14 and 70 who lives with them.
  4. The time slots indicated in this order will not apply to municipalities, or smaller, separate populated areas within a municipality forming an administrative area, which have a population of 5,000 or less, where the activities allowed under this order may take place between 6 am and 11 pm.
  5. Exceptionally, these time slots do not apply when, for duly accredited medical reasons, physical activity is recommended in another period, or because the persons accompanying older people, minors or the disabled cannot do so within the allotted time slot.

El Pais Interactive map: How far can adults go for a walk under Spain’s relaxed confinement measures?


APRIL 30: Relaxation of lockdown restrictions regarding exercise, effective from 2/5/20

The Spanish health authorities today announced new rules for outdoor activity. Health Minister, Salvador Illa, said that individuals can go out once a day, within their own municipality of residence, without making contact with third parties. Sports are also allowed as long as practiced individually.

Adults will be able to walk alone, or with one other family member, for up to an hour, and within one kilometre radius of their residence.

  • Walks and sport for healthy adults: 6.00-10.00 and 20.00-23.00
  • Walks for dependent persons (with a caregiver) and over-70s: 10.00-12.00 and 19.00-20.00
  • Exercise with children (under current conditions): 12.00-19.00

In municipalities with less than 5000 inhabitants, time restrictions will not apply, though all activities must take place between 6.00 and 23.00.


APRIL 28: Prime Minister announces de-escalation plan

In a press conference today, Pedro Sánchez announced that the Council of Ministers have approved a de-escalation plan for lockdown.

There will be no fixed dates for certain phases of de-escalation, but the situation will be reviewed every 2 weeks, & each new phase will last for a minimum of 2 weeks.

The phases will be the same in every region/area/territory of Spain but will be implemented at different speeds, dependent on the evolution of the virus. If all goes to plan, the “new normality” could happen by the end of June.

For further details, read here:


APRIL 26: Spain may allow confined citizens out for walks on May 2, says Prime Minister Sánchez

From today, rules are being relaxed allowing children under 14 to accompany a parent on a short walk.

At an evening news conference on April 25, the prime minister stated that if contagion figures continue to go down, lockdown rules would be relaxed even further. 

Sánchez said, “If the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner, starting on May 2 outings will be allowed for individual activity and for walks with the people that we live with.”

For the full story in El Pais, click here:


APRIL 22: Congress authorises a third extension to the “state of alert”

As expected, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez gained approval for a further extension to the lockdown period, in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19. The special measures will remain in place until May 9. Sánchez warned that the de-escalation of coronavirus confinement measures would be “slow and gradual”, and that the “general confinement will not be lifted until we are ready.”

Read the full story in El Pais here:

From Sunday 26, rules will be relaxed regarding children under 14, who will now be allowed to go shopping with their parents, and for short walks.

For further information about the rule change regarding minors, read The Local article here:


APRIL 15: Congress reserves April 22 for a possible further extension of the state of alert

The Council of Ministers will discuss the possibility of a further extension of the lockdown period when they meet next week. Any proposal put forward for a further 2 weeks would then need approval by parliament and would extend the lockdown until May 10.

For the full story (in Spanish) from La Vanguardia, click here:


APRIL 13: Some lockdown restrictions lifted

Spain’s non-essential workers, in sectors such as construction and industry, return to work, restoring the level of lockdown to the earlier level of the first 2 weeks. Strict measures are still in place for the vast majority.


APRIL 10: Congress backs PM’s request to extend state of alarm in Spain until April 26, with a further 15 days likely

“Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez secured approval from the Congress of Deputies on Thursday for his decision to extend the state of alarm in Spain and current confinement measures until April 26. The move, which will keep residents of Spain mostly locked down in their homes for an additional two weeks from the previous deadline of April 12, is aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

For the full story from El Pais, click here:

We will endeavour to keep everyone updated with the latest information regarding the rules of lockdown. Please check back regularly for further information & advice.

We have also provided advice and suggestions on how to stay safe, healthy, physically and mentally, and how to keep yourself busy and entertain the family during this time of crisis. For more information and useful links, click right

Stay home…

stay safe…

& look out for

each other!


Worldometers monitor the number of cases & death tolls, by country:

Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 death toll projections for Spain:

For updates about the lockdown rules – Boletín Oficial del Estado:

The Spanish government website has all the latest news from Spain, in English:

N322 Road Safety Association has a wealth of information about lockdown measures on their Facebook page:

European Commission coronavirus home page:

WHO specific information on Spain:

WHO specific information on UK:

Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs & Social Welfare:

Spanish Ministry of the Environment:

UK Foreign Office travel advice for Spain:

Brits in Spain (British Embassy in Madrid) Facebook Page:

Brits in Spain website:

Check back frequently for updates on the latest lockdown measures, as new material will be added regularly. Thanks!