MADRID (Reuters) – Under partial lockdown due to the spiraling coronavirus pandemic, Spaniards are allowed to leave home only for essential outings, walking a dog being one of them.
But not a rented dog, the Civil Guard police force warned on Wednesday as it sanctioned a man who had repeatedly tried to rent his dogs out via Facebook so that people could walk them.
“The man was advertising activities which implied people leaving their homes to rent dogs, or walk rented dogs,” said a police spokeswoman in the northeastern Galicia region. “That would be infringing the decree that only permits going outdoors for work, groceries, walking your dog or pharmacy visits.”
The man faces a possible fine of between 500 and 5,000 euros, but has not yet been detained.
Life in Spain ground to a halt after a state of emergency declared on March 14 imposed strict restrictions on movement to slow the spread of coronavirus.
As of late Wednesday, authorities had arrested 484 people in total since the start of quarantine, including 55 over the previous 24 hours for failing to comply with security measures, police said.
In one flagrant case, eight men were arrested in central Barcelona on Friday for “crime against public health” after they were found engaged in a drug-fueled orgy.
The vast majority of Spaniards have complied with lockdown and social distancing recommendations, spawning dozens of confinement-related hashtags, social media trends or balcony singing as people seek to connect with and amuse one another.
(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and Tom Brown)