State of alarm


With the main objective of being able to safeguard the population , practically all the countries of the world have the option of applying certain immediate measures with the main objective of keeping their inhabitants safe, this is the case of the state of alarm , one of the three types state of exception that are established within the Political Constitution of a country.

What is the state of alarm?

The alarm condition is a type of state of emergency which can be used in case you get to file a crisis , serious health or when paralyze the public services basic due to a strike or a conflict of such work .

  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of the alarm state
  • Causes
  • Consequences
  • Alarm status by country
  • Importance
  • Examples of alarm status

What does it consist of

The state of alarm is one of the three scenarios that can be found in the Political Constitution that can be applied in a territory when a series of circumstances considered as extraordinary arise that can affect the normality of the inhabitants . It is a kind of state in which you are awarded a number of special powers involving limitation so temporal some of the individual rights . This state of alarm can only be ordered when faced with situations that can bring serious consequences , in the event of catastrophes.natural, epidemics and pandemics .


The state of alarm then makes it possible for the police forces , the nations and the self-employed to work together following the guidelines that are established through the Government . This type of state does not cause serious damage or interruption in the rights considered fundamental in the Constitution, but it does have the ability to limit some of the freedoms of individuals.

Characteristics of the alarm state

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in the alarm state, the following are mentioned:

  • This type of state can be decreed throughout the national territory or it can also be done by specific areas .
  • It does not establish the total suspension of fundamental rights but it does establish a limitation or restriction for a specified time.
  • There is a limitation in the consumption or use of services or essential goods .
  • There is the implementation of a series of health measures to fight against diseases that cause problems, for example, in the case of epidemics or pandemics.
  • During the state of alarm, resistance to authority and to what has been established can lead to a series of sanctions for both regular inhabitants and officials.
  • It must be declared through the government .
  • They generally last between 15 and 30 days , however, this time can be modified by means of extensions in case the country situation fails to improve.
  • When the measures that have been established are breached , this can cause a series of sanctions which will be provided in the law.


The state of alarm can be caused when a state of emergency occurs in a country which is caused by different reasons, major natural disasters that cannot be avoided such as earthquakes, forest fires or floods, health crises resulting from epidemics or pandemics or when there is a serious stoppage in public services as a result of strikes or conflicts with workers that cause the country to face a serious shortage of products considered essential.


When the condition is decreed alarm is present may be the limitation or rationalization of several services and even consumption of some items of first necessity if the country faces an extremely serious condition. The establishment of new orders and measures, especially when it refers to the operation of production centers and supermarkets, is necessary with the main objective of being able to ensure the supply of products in the markets.

The right to free movement may also be affected by the creation of restriction measures that may limit the permanence of people in certain places or the transit of vehicles in certain places and times. Measures may be established to intervene or temporarily occupy some industries , workshops or premises , with the exception of private homes.

Alarm status by country

  • Spain : in Spain, the government is based on article 116.2 of the Constitution and can be declared throughout the territory or in a part at the moment in which there are alterations that seriously affect normality. It is decreed by the government and has a maximum term of 15 days which can be increased if necessary.
  • Venezuela : the state of alarm is contemplated under the ” Organic Law on States of Exception ” of the Constitution, specifically in Article 337 . With this status, the government limits fundamental rights temporarily for a maximum of 30 days.
  • Chile : in Chile, the state of alarm is established in the Political Constitution , in article 40 2. It is established by the President in cases when there are serious alterations to public order or the security of the nation. The areas under emergency will be in charge of a Chief of National Defense who is appointed by the President.
  • Ecuador : in Ecuador, it is established in the Constitution specifically in Article 165 . This article determines that the President has the ability to limit or suspend the right to freedom of transit , association , assembly and even the information in the event that an emergency and also entitles you to use public funds to are used in health.
  • Colombia : here there is what is known as the ” Colombian Disaster ” which is applied in extreme situations that endanger the health and order of the country.
  • Argentina : in the country, the state of alarm is called a “ state of siege ” and is established in the Constitution , specifically in Article 23. It occurs when there is an internal commotion or an attack from abroad that puts the Constitution at risk and the authorities of the country.


Despite the fact that many people do not like that their rights are limited, the state of alarm is one of the most important situations that a country can face at any given time, although it can affect the individuals who inhabit a country, contains a series of measures that turn out to be essential to be able to face the situation that is presented. In most cases, this state is necessary to be able to stop epidemics, pandemics, to provide security to the inhabitants and even to rebuild the country.

Examples of alarm status

Some examples of the state of alarm and its reasons are:

  • Spain in 2020 had to declare a state of alarm due to the increasing cases caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In 2020, a state of alarm was called in Venezuela due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of masks, the suspension of flights and other measures were mandatory.
  • In 2009, Colombia entered a state of alarm caused by an outbreak of swine flu.

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