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SPAIN: State of Alarm

President Sanchez announced last 13 March 2020 the State of Alarm in Spain by Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March.

Spain then was lock down except for those essential activities.

  • Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the State of Alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, adopted measures regarding the limitation of the mobility of people, as well as the social and economic activities of our country, which have contributed to containing the advance of COVID-19.

  • Since then, the Government has agreed, through various regulatory instruments, different initiatives aimed at ordering the application of the measures that have been understood as necessary to protect people from the risk of contagion, to attend to those who are especially vulnerable, to guarantee the provision of essential health and social services, as well as to look after the companies and the working people who are affected in the economic and productive aspects, so that they can recover normality as soon as the circumstances are removed exceptional that today have already paralyzed much of the productive, healthcare and service fabric in our country.

  • Article 86 of the Constitution allows the Government to issue royal decree-laws "in case of extraordinary and urgent need", as long as they do not affect the order of the basic institutions of the State, the rights, duties and freedoms of citizens regulated in the Title I of the Constitution, the regime of Autonomous Communities or the general electoral law

  • The Royal Decree-law constitutes a constitutionally lawful instrument, provided that, as.

The Government of Spain then decides to declare the State of Alarm from March 16 and for fifteen days, and initially extendible until April 12, and later until 26 of April 2020, as of now and with possibility of extending it for May, with the authorization of the Congess.

The measures initially taken are:

- From the day of the call of the State of Alarm, all the State Authorities will be under the Government of the Nation

- Citizens must be confined at home except for concrete cases

- The only cases to be allowed to leave the houses will be:

1. Foods, pharmaceutical and products of first need

2. Go to sanitary centers

3. Go to work

4. Return to the usual residence

5. Go to attend old people, children, handicap or any vulnerable people

6. Go to financial entities

7. Any other situation needed

8. Any other activity needed and be justified - The citizens will have some freedom but is totally forbidden any leisure activity

- Private cars can be used for anybody the activities referred or to go to the petrol stations.

- In all cases sanitary recommendations must be followed every moment

- All the Security forces will be under the Ministry of Interior

- All the authority agents have the right to do registration, check ups and so on, to the persons, goods, vehicles, etc... all the citizens must cooperate with them

- All the educational centers as well as the commercial business, leisure or sports also will be closed

- All the sanitary will be controlled under the Ministry of Health

- For the Administration issues and paperwork everything will be postponed

All these measures were in force when the Royal Decree was published and for the free circulation of the citizens was in force from Monday 16 at 08.00 hrs.

  1. Extension of the State of Alarm

  • On Saturday 11 April, the General Corts, approved the following resolution:

4406 Resolution of April 9, 2020, of the Congress of Deputies, ordering the publication of the Agreement authorizing the extension of the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14.

  • In accordance with the provisions of article 116.2 of the Constitution, the Congress of Deputies, in its session today, agreed to authorize the extension of the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, in the terms of the request communicated by agreement of the Council of Ministers, of April 7, 2020, the tenor of which is as follows:


  • Request from the Congress of Deputies authorization to extend the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID- 19.


  • The mentioned extension is requested until 00:00 on April 26, 2020.


  • The extension will be subject to the same conditions established in Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, modified by Royal Decree 465/2020, of March 17, and by Royal Decree 476/2020, of March 27, by which the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, is extended, by which the state of alarm is declared for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19. »

3. State of Alarm, Essential Activities

The Government issues a new Royal Decree to stipulate the essential activities allowed during the State of Alarm.

Under Royal Decree-Law 10/2020: Recoverable permit received in non essential activities

List of essential activities:

- 1. Those who carry out the activities that must continue to be carried out under articles 10.1, 10.4, 14.4, 16, 17 and 18 of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the State of Alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19 and the regulations approved by the Competent Authority and the Delegated Competent Authorities.

- 2. Those that work in the activities that participate in the supply chain of the market and in the operation of the services of the production centers of basic goods and services, including food, beverages, animal feed, hygiene products, medicines, health products or any product necessary for the protection of health, allowing the distribution of the same from the origin to the final destination.

- 3. Those that provide services in the hotel and restaurant activities that provide home delivery services.

- 4. Those that provide services in the chain of production and distribution of goods, services, sanitary technology, medical material, protective equipment, sanitary and hospital equipment and any other materials necessary for the provision of sanitary services.

- 5. Those essential for the maintenance of the productive activities of the manufacturing industry that offer the supplies, equipment and materials necessary for the correct development of the essential activities included in this annex.

- 6. Those that carry out transport services, both for people and goods, that continue to be developed since the declaration of the state of alarm, as well as those that must ensure the maintenance of the means used for it, under the regulations approved by the competent authority and the delegated competent authorities since the declaration of the state of alarm.

- 7. Those that provide services in Penitentiary Institutions, civil protection, maritime rescue, rescue and prevention and extinction of fires, mine safety, and traffic and road safety. Likewise, those that work in private security companies that provide security transport services, response to alarms, round-trip or discontinuous surveillance, and those that are necessary to use for the performance of security services in guarantee of essential services and supplying the population.

- 8. The indispensable ones that support the maintenance of the material and equipment of the armed forces.

- 9. Those of health centers, services and establishments, as well as people who (i) serve the elderly, minors, dependents or people with disabilities, and people who work in companies, R&D and biotechnology centers linked to COVID-19, (ii) the animal facilities associated with them, (iii) the maintenance of the minimum services of the facilities associated with them and the companies supplying the products necessary for said investigation, and (iv) the people who work in funeral services and other related activities.

- 10. Those of animal health centers, services and establishments.

- 11. Those that provide services in points of sale of the press and in the media or news agencies of public and private ownership, as well as in their printing or distribution.

- 12. Those of financial services companies, including banking, insurance and investment companies, for the provision of essential services, and the activities of payment infrastructures and financial markets.

- 13. Those of telecommunications and audiovisual companies and essential computer services, as well as those networks and facilities that support them and the sectors or subsectors necessary for their proper functioning, especially those that are essential for the adequate provision of public services, as well such as the non-attendance work of public employees.

- 14. Those that provide services related to the protection and care of victims of gender violence.

- 15. Those who work as lawyers, attorneys, social graduates, translators, interpreters and psychologists and who attend procedural proceedings not suspended by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19 and, in this way, comply with the essential services established by consensus by the Ministry of Justice, the General Council of the Judiciary, the State Attorney General's Office and the Autonomous Communities with powers in the matter and reflected in the Resolution of the Secretary of State for Justice dated March 14, 2020, and the adaptations that in their chaos may be agreed.

- 16. Those that provide services in law firms and legal advisory services, administrative agencies and social graduates, and third-party and own occupational risk prevention services, in urgent matters.

- 17. Those that provide services in notaries and registries for the fulfillment of essential services set by the General Directorate of Legal Security and Public Faith.

- 18. Those that provide cleaning, maintenance, urgent breakdown repair and surveillance services, as well as providing services in the collection, management and treatment of hazardous waste, as well as urban solid, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, collection and treatment wastewater, decontamination activities and other waste management services and transport and removal of by-products or any of the entities belonging to the Public Sector, in accordance with the provisions of article 3 of Law 9/2017, of 8 of November, Public Sector Contracts.

- 19. Those who work in the Refugee Reception Centers and in the Temporary Stay Centers for Immigrants and public entities of private management subsidized by the Secretary of State for Migration and that operate within the framework of International Protection and Care Humanitarian.

- 20. Those who work in water supply, purification, conduction, purification and sanitation activities.

- 21. Those that are essential for the provision of meteorological forecasting and observation services and the associated processes of maintenance, surveillance and control of operational processes.

- 22. Those of the operator designated by the State to provide the universal postal service, in order to provide collection, admission, transport, classification, distribution and delivery services for the sole purpose of guaranteeing said universal postal service.

- 23. Those that provide services in those sectors or subsectors that participate in the import and supply of sanitary material, such as logistics, transportation, warehousing, customs transit (freight forwarders) companies and, in general, all those that participate in sanitary corridors .

24. Those who work in the distribution and delivery of products purchased in commerce by internet, telephone or correspondence.

25. Any others that provide services that have been considered essential.

Non essential activities:

- All those workers who do not belong to essential sectors will have to stay at home. These will be the non-essential services that will have to stop:

- Offices not related to basic necessity services.

- Production lines not related to essential services.

- Construction workers.

- Hospitality that does not make home deliveries.

- Retail commerce

4. Coronavirus Crisis: Effects on the Spanish economy and Trade

General View:

  • In general the there is an economical stop in most of the sectors and for most of the companies is the safety of their employees in sanitary terms and also as no company in principle wants to quit 100% their employees.

  • Already more than 180.000 ERTEs (Temporary Employment Regulation File) have been presented mainly by SMEs.

  • The Spanish Government after the announcement of the State of Alarm decided to close many of the business sectors in Spain, as of now the Government has not contemplated the possibility of closing the whole country, as a total lock down of the country would be a disaster for the Spanish economy and difficult to recover specially for the SMEs, even though big companies would have more possibilities to survive.

  • On the other hand, President Sanchez has requested to the EU to elaborate a Marshall Plan to help the European Community, mainly in terms of sanitary and economic measures.


  • Concerning trade, this one is stuck since this month of March due to the crisis.

  • Accordingly to some of the representative opinions the imports from Thailand and in general from every country will be drastically reduced until June at least.

  • Only those sanitary and food products continue growing with their imports into Spain

  • Rice is one of the primary food products, the imports of rice, specially from Thailand, will expect to grow by the end of this year.

  • Spanish ports are open and working as normal

  • Concerning customs, these ones also continue working as normal but with some delay in the administrative paperwork

  • Delays in the shipping as in Singapore, containers are stuck due to the crowded mobility from all over the world

5. Effects by main sectors:

1. Tourism, restaurants, hotel and catering:

- Today the most punished sector. As of now the sector is totally closed due to the State of Alarm, this affects to the secondary sector depending on them: foods, garments, tourists shops, leisure business, etc

- Some restaurants are surviving due to their delivery food services.

- This is not the case of Thai restaurants in Spain, who do not do delivery services.

- Expected to start recovering in June if the crisis becomes better

2. Air Conditioner:

- The industry is stuck, imports expected to reduce during the months of the crisis

- The orders already done in December and January and February expected to come but with some delay at customs as priority now for Spanish customs is to clear the sanitary imports

- Don’t expect big sales after the crisis as people will not have much money to spend and air condition is not a priority specially for domestic

3. Jewelry:

- The sector is totally closed with no sales or imports at all after the end of the crisis.

- The sector is not a primary needed sector, so the recover in many cases as talked they think even for after September this year, they will not start seeing some recover.

- The sector is mainly composed of SMEs and many of them have already applied for an ERTE.

4. Foods:

- The only sector with some perspectives but only for primary food products like rice of coconut as an ingredient for the production of other foods.

- Besides rice and coconut, Thai food products are con considering primary needed products.

- Most of the Thai products are consumed at Thai restaurants, cooking schools and hotel business, and these ones nowadays are closed,

- Some Spanish importers have stopped their orders, except for the primary like rice

- The sector expects to start recovering for June-July

5. Computer and parts:

- The sector which is mainly composed of SMEs is partially working to supply and help the industry opened. The imports will remain stable but with lower intensity due that most of the sectors are closed.

- Most of the importers still have stock but for the new orders will be reduced and accordingly to the needs.

- The sector hopes to pick up after May-June.

6. Rubbers and rubber products:

- The sector goes in parallel with the automobile.

- The sales of automobile are expecting to decrease within this year due to the lack of sales since this month of Marchand the lost of employment in all the sectors .

- Automobile is not a primary sector now, so the sector foresees a very bad year.

- Only for those rubber parts and accessories for replacement and repair in the auto sector will be stable.

- For rubber gloves China will get the highest imports and benefits due to all the agreements signed by the Spanish Government with them during this crisis.

7. Automobile:

- The sector has partly closed and some companies have done an ERTE. Many other have closed their activity partially and reduced their imports for parts and accessories as of now from third countries.

- Others like Grupo Antolin have adapted their production factories to manufacture sanitary products to supply tor the internal demand during this crisis.

- The imports from third countries including Thailand are expected to be reduced until at least the month of June.

- The main objective of the sector at the moment is the fight to overcome the serious health crisis while maintaining, as far as possible in the current circumstances, the economic activity in Spain.

- The companies in the sector contribute their grain of sand to this collective task: they have organized remote work for those workers who can carry it out and are collaborating with the health authorities in the best possible management of the work centers, redoubling sanitation activities and disinfection, taking care that all the personnel in its facilities, both its own and those of collaborating companies, have the personal protection equipment (PPE) that they require for the performance of their work. The industry is making rational and responsible use of the temporary employment regulation files, waiting to resume its activity and recover the level of employment prior to the health crisis.

- Automotive brands in Spain have already started the manufacture of medical equipment and have launched other initiatives to help hospitals on a voluntary basis.

8. E-commerce:

-The long-term effects of coronavirus on ecommerce remain unclear at all, and many online and offline vendors will see their sales profits decline in 2020.

-In the case of Spain, land borders have been closed but access to the transport of goods will be allowed.

-Carriers in Spain, and internationally, are taking various measures regarding the shipping and delivery of packages.

-Carriers for the moment they have not ceased their activity

- E-commerce, being considered within the essential activities, may continue to exercise its activity. This is reflected in article 1, section E of Royal Decree 10/2020, where the exceptions to the new measure are listed:

- But online shopping has increased in Spain39,3% during this period of crisis compare to the same period last year.

The most benefit sectors are:

  • All supermarkets and large distribution chains for foods.

  • Sanitary products

  • Laptops, due to the high increase of teleworking from home

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