Following friction with the Civil Guard, due a number of complaints submitted against military personnel intercepted on their rest days, the Army has said that their soldiers are no longer allowed to travel to the family home when is different from their habitual residence, unless expressly authorised to do so on compassionate grounds.

All military personnel must now remain in the municipality in which they are stationed or, with deployment, a maximum of two hours away, when required.

Due to their high mobility, many have their families in a location other than where they are normally billeted and travel to visit them on weekends or when they are on leave.

During Easter, there were a large number of complaints against the military who were traveling to their family homes, which led to high-level talks between the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Guard.

The Civil Guard are understood to have agreed to archive the complaints in exchange for the introduction of measures banning their travel, which has now been done.

Many soldiers were preparing to travel home on weekend leave when the order was issued on late Friday afternoon, which has caused serious distress.

A spokesman for the Spanish Army said that the order “follows the strict meaning of the royal decree, and soldiers will now be expected to comply with the same travel restrictions as the general public.

The Spanish Troop and Seafarers Association (ATME) has denounced the move saying that thousands of soldiers will now be separated from their families.