It has been a busy weekend in Spain as the government announced that it will be seeking support in Parliament to implement a State of Alarm throughout the country until May 9th 2021 in order to give regional governments the possibility of controlling the Covid-19 Pandemic. Obviously this will have repercussions in the Valencia region and on people visiting in order to buy property in Valencia.
Initially in Valencia the new regulations will be in place until the 9th of December but they started last night. They will be extended until May as and when required.
Valencia is currently one of the regions of Spain least affected by Covid-19 only beaten by the Islands for numbers. Valencia’s infection rate at 155/100,000 is one seventh of that in Navarre in the Basque Country, 1024/100,000, the place with the current highest incidence of Covid in Spain. However, it was the leader of Valencia’s Regional Government Ximo Puig that suggested that regional governments should have some of the powers decreed in the new State of Alarm.
What It Means For Everyday Life
There is a curfew in place now. In Valencia the curfew goes from 12 midnight to 6am. The exceptions to the curfew are travelling to and from work, with papers to justify it, urgent medical visits and taking care of dependents.
Six people can meet in social groups both at private residences and in bars and restaurants.
All drinking in the street is banned 24 hours a day to stop “Botellones” where young people meet up to share drinks usually in car parks and other empty spaces. This is considered to be helping the spread of Covid.
If Covid numbers rise alarmingly in a village, town or city then the local governments can impose a lockdown around the town stopping movement in and out.
Shops, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open as normal, outside of the hours of curfew, as long as they stick to the measures imposed to limit Covid of cleanliness and social distancing.
What It Means For Your Property Visits
As it stands at the moment you can still visit Valencia to look for your property. Of course different countries have different rules for quarantine after returning from Spain but if you can get here currently you are allowed to travel into Valencia without restrictions from outside of Spain. Expect a quick Covid test and questionnaire and questions about where you will be staying in case of you giving a positive test. Currently there are no requirements to self isolate on arriving unless you have a positive test.
Currently there are no restrictions on visiting properties as long as fewer than six people meet up. This means that if you are looking at property as a family things might get complicated, however, usually our clients are couples and individuals rather than the whole family.
Obviously mask wearing is obligatory everywhere currently so you will need to wear your mask to visits.
We will continue to insist where possible when searching outside of the city that our clients follow us in their own car rather than accompanying us in our cars. This protects our other clients and you from potential contagion in an enclosed space. Also after every visit you will be offered hand sanitiser.
If local cases rise precipitously then we may find that towns where you want to visit a property are closed down. In these cases we would not be able to visit your chosen properties. Because of this we will continue to offer Virtual Visits, Facetime Visits and Video Reports on properties.
What It Means For The Purchase Process of Valencia Property
We are preparing for slower completions as it is currently very difficult to get appointments at town halls for official paperwork. We may be suggesting a longer time period in deposit contracts to complete especially when our client requires finance as getting a mortgage may take a bit longer than usual due to the time being taken by valuers to visit the properties and banks being generally slower to do their part and put the mortgage in place.
Notary appointments are not tending to be a problem currently but bear in mind that meetings of more than six people may become more difficult so you may find that on signing you are in a different room to the seller and the notary may move from room to room making the process slightly longer as they would have to read everything twice as opposed to once as at the moment.
Really none of this should alarm you unduly. Life goes on relatively normally here in Valencia currently. Schools and Universities continue, shops are open, outdoor sports are still happening although crowds are not allowed and people are taking the necessary precautions; masks, hand washing and sanitiser and social distancing. We still get to enjoy our great climate, the increasing number of bars and restaurants with large terraces, an outdoor lifestyle and a solidarity with others meaning people are using local shops and services more where possible to support the local economy in the best way they can.
If everyone continues to do their little bit in the collective effort we may eventually come out of this situation with a greater sense of solidarity and mutual respect. Spain tends to have that aspect of its psyche, let’s hope that it continues.
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