EXPLAINED: How to prove you need to enter or exit Madrid’s restricted zones

With random police checks in place make sure you know what paperwork can prove the need to enter and exit Madrid's restricted zones.

EXPLAINED: How to prove you need to enter or exit Madrid’s restricted zones
A woman proves valid reason for crossing at a checkpoint in Madrid. Photo: AFP

The city of Madrid and nine other satellite towns have had new restrictions placed since Friday in a bid to curb the soaring rate of infections across the region.

The rules are not as strict as during the state of emergency which began in March and placed residents across Spain in lockdown and only allowed to leave the house for very limited reasons.

But the new rules are designed to prevent people entering or exiting a restricted zone unless they have good reason which includes work, study, to care for a dependent or to attend an appointment such as medical, legal or administrative.

Q&A: What you can and can't do under Madrid's new lockdown rules

With police checkpoints in place at busy exit routes on the roads and at transport hubs here’s what you need to know about the documentation required to prove the purpose of your journey.

To avoid problems at checkpoints, always carry some form of photo ID (which is required by law in Spain) and if that doesn’t have your current home address on it then carry something that proves your place of residence, such as padron certificate or at the very least an official letter with your address on it (such as utility bill or bank statement).

If you are not going home to a restricted area but entering one for another purpose then here are the various documentation that can help prove it.


Despite the strict lockdown conditions earlier this year, Spain has yet to introduce a nationwide document to provide “safe conduct” to those who require it.

However, when the region brought in restrictions across 45 health zones last month, Madrid health authorities did launch a form that justifies crossing restricted limits for the purposes of work and it seems that this is still the only way to prove that you are justified in crossing restricted perimeters

The form must be filled out with ID number, address, place of work and reason for movement and must be signed by one's employer. 

They can be downloaded HERE. or by clicking through on tweet below.


Crossing a restricted city limit for the purpose of study is allowed but you may need to prove it if stopped by pólice. Those who are studying at a university, college or school can show their student card –  “carné personal de adscripción”. If you are a parent taking or collecting your children then have a copy of their enrolment with you. Other places of study should be able to provide you with a certificate of enrolment on a course which will satisfy authorities.

Medical attention


If you have an appointment with a specialist at a medical centre either outside the restricted zone where you live or within one where you are not resident then you will be able to show a copy of your cita previa to prove it.

If you are going to visit a relative in hospital then you can request that the hospital send you a “certificado de hospitalización” of your relative which should be proof enough.

If however you are seeking emergency medical treatment and are on your way to an Emergency room (Urgencias) outside of your restricted zone then you just have to hope that if you are stopped at a random police check, the officer will recognize the emergency and allow you through as there is no paperwork for this eventuality.

Returning to your home

If you were away when restrictions were put in place then you will always allowed to return to your “place of habitual residence” and just need to be able to prove it.

Spanish people have their DNI to do this but foreigners will need photo ID plus something official that shows they are a resident within the restricted zone such as residency card or padron certificate. If you are a new arrival and haven’t had time to sort that out yet then do your best to prove it with a rental contract or utility bill.

Visiting a dependent or vulnerable person in your care


Those visiting their children who may live with another parent, elderly relatives who rely on their care or other dependents because of a disability should present whatever documentation they have to prove it. Police may accompany you to the address to check that your reason given was valid.

To visit a financial entity

One of the reasons permitted to breach restrictions is to visit a bank or financial entity that cannot be postponed and before you go to your appointment ask the bank to send you a “justificante” ahead of the visit.

Judicial or administrative appointments

If you have an appointment with an administrative office you can show your “cita previa” confirmation as proof and any legal process that you have to carry out should have a written confirmation of appointment that you can show to police if required. These can be on a mobile phone rather than printed out if need be.


If you have an exam or test to go to then show the documents confirming that it is taking place on that day and that should be sufficient proof

Force majeure

This exemption can cover any manner of issues and could be hard to prove. If you need to go an take care of someone, or look after animals or even tend to your allotment, it will fall under this category and can be hard to prove. Have your excuse prepared, carry whatever supporting documents you can and hope that if stopped, the police agent will be understanding.

And remember that any sanctions issues can be appealed.



Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


What are Spain’s current rules for asymptomatic and mild Covid cases?

Spain is currently experiencing an eighth Covid wave. For those who test positive during the summer of 2022, here's a reminder of all the rules and recommendations you need to be aware of, concerning asymptomatic, mild and serious cases.

What are Spain's current rules for asymptomatic and mild Covid cases?

No one wants to get Covid, particularly when the summer season is approaching and many have booked their annual holidays.

But if you do find that you test positive for Covid-19, here’s what you need to know about Spain’s current health rules. 

Whatever questions you have, from wanting to know if you still need to get an official test or inform your doctor, to whether you can go outside and if you need to wear a face mask, we’ve got you covered. 

Q: What if I get Covid but don’t have any symptoms?

A: If you are asymptomatic, in other words you test positive for Covid-19 but don’t experience any symptoms, then it’s not necessary to self-isolate and you are not required to quarantine at home.

Spain’s quarantine requirement for asymptomatic cases was dropped as of March 28th 2022.

However, the health body that advises Spain’s Health Ministry recommends that you still stay at home and rest and that if you do go out, you wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that you keep social contact to a minimum for a week. 

Q: What if I have mild Covid symptoms?

A: If you have mild Covid symptoms, you fall into the same category as those who have no symptoms for Spanish health authorities.

This means that while it’s not mandatory to isolate at home, you should still rest, wear a mask indoors and outdoors and avoid social contact.

The obligatory quarantine for mild cases was also scrapped as of March 28th, 2022.

Q: What if I have severe Covid symptoms?

A: If you have serious Covid symptoms, Spain’s Health Ministry continues to require a quarantine period of seven days, meaning that it’s mandatory.

It is also still required for those classified as part of the high-risk or vulnerable population, which includes those aged 60 or older, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women. 

Q: Am I allowed to go outside if I have Covid?

A: Yes, as mentioned above, if you have mild or asymptomatic symptoms you are allowed to go outside while you have Covid. However, you should limit your contact with others for a week to make sure you’re not putting others at risk. You should aim to stay at home as much as possible until your symptoms disappear.

Keep in mind that you are highly contagious in the first few days of the illness, so you may want to avoid going out during that time.

Q: Can I go to events if I have Covid-19?

A: Yes, you can leave the house if you have Covid-19, but as you’re expected to limit your contact with others, going to a large event with hundreds of people is not recommended. You could unknowingly be putting vulnerable people at risk. Health authorities still recommend that you avoid gatherings for at least a week after a positive test. 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask if I test positive?

A: The Spanish Health Ministry has confirmed that those who have Covid must wear a mask for “ten days from the diagnosis” of the virus.

They should be worn indoors, as well as outdoors, if a distance can’t be maintained from others. Experts recommend using the FFP2 masks during this time because even if your symptoms are mild, you can still be contagious.

READ ALSO: How likely is it that Spain will make face masks mandatory indoors again?

Q: Can I go to work if I have Covid-19?

A: If you have mild or asymptomatic Covid-19, although the recommendation is to work from home or take sick leave, you can still go in.

However, the health authorities recommend that you wear a mask, avoid contact with vulnerable people and avoid enclosed spaces with little ventilation.

Q: Is it necessary to get officially tested?

A: No, it’s not necessary to get a PCR or antigen done at your local health centre or at a private clinic any more. An antigen test bought from a pharmacy and performed at home will suffice.

Only those with serious symptoms and high-risk groups should get tested now. Although you it’s not necessary anymore to confirm your infection with a test, it’s still useful to test yourself at home so you can avoid contact with others if it’s positive and know when you can get back to life as normal.

Q: Do I have to tell my doctor if I have or have recently had Covid?

A: No, it’s not necessary for everyone to call their doctor if they have Covid, because not all cases are being counted by authorities anymore.

You may, however, still need to call your doctor if you need to sick leave from work. Those in Catalonia will be given an automatic five-day sick leave if they have Covid symptoms, even if they don’t take a test.  

If you are over the age of 60, are immunosuppressed or are in a high risk group, it’s still a good idea to tell your doctor if you test positive.

Q: What do I do if I have come into close contact with someone who has Covid-19?

A: If you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid, it’s not necessary for you to take a test or to self-isolate.

The health authorities do recommend that you take precautions though, such as limiting social interactions, wearing a mask and avoid vulnerable people.

Remember that the days before you test positive, but after you have been exposed to the virus are when you are the most contagious. 

Q: What if I get Covid while on holiday in Spain?

A: If you have a mild or asymptomatic case of Covid-19 while on holiday in Spain, you don’t have to quarantine and you don’t have to inform the local health authorities, unless you are in a vulnerable category.

Like above, Spain’s Health Ministry only recommends that you stay at home and rest, that if you do have to go out you wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that you keep social contact to a minimum for a week.

Different countries have different rules so you may not be able to travel home if you have Covid and may have to wait until you test negative.

READ MORE: What tourists should do if they get Covid while on holiday in Spain?