The Spanish Congress of Deputies authorized a new extension of the State of Alarm until the 26th of April

At the last plenary session, the Congress of Deputies authorized the extension of the State of Alarm enacted in the Royal Decree 463/2020 of March 14th, which declares the state of alarm to manage the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19. 

This extension will be prolonged until 00:00 hours on Sunday April 26th and will maintain the same conditions established in the Royal Decree 462/2020 of March 14th, but it is subject to further extensions if necessary.

The Government has also decided to extend the controls at the land borders with France and Portugal for a further 14 days. The extension will be in force until midnight on Saturday April 25th.

With regard to the last 15 days, some differences can be observed with respect to the conditions and restrictions to which we are subjected. For example, transport recovered, since Monday 13th, the service level of the second week of confinement, established by Order 273/2020 of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda of March 23rd, which issued instructions for the reduction of passenger transport services. On the other hand, the Ministry of Justice, the General Council of the Judiciary, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Autonomous Communities agreed to maintain essential services in the Administration of Justice. The telematic presentation of documents, limited since March 18th, will be authorized from today, April 15th. 

Despite this, each competent authority in each Autonomous Community will specify which documents can be submitted telematically. For example, in Biscay, the distinguished Lawyers Association of Biscay has specified that its telematic platform “JUSTIZIASIP” does not allow, for the time being, the submission of initial documents of a procedure; thus only documents relating to legal proceedings already in progress that are not linked to interrupted or suspended terms or deadlines may be submitted, until they give rise to procedural actions that initiate procedural time periods that must be suspended. 

To ensure the proper functioning of the Administration of Justice during the state of alarm, in addition to determining staffing levels of headquarters and courts to cover essential services and those that are available, the following provisions have been adopted, among others:

– Registration of births and deaths in the shortest possible time, as well as the management of non-essential services of the Civil Registry (as far as the resources permit it). 

– Registration of documents submitted electronically to the judicial and public prosecutor’s offices and their distribution to the competent judicial bodies. This shall not affect the suspension of procedural deadlines. 

– Services that are considered essential will be provided. 

– Management of all non-essential procedures, as far as the resources permit. 

This decision shall not affect the fact that the procedural time bar, as well as the prescription and expiration time bar, remains suspended.