Overview of the easing of corona-related measures in Spain

Granada, 2020-05-19

The Spanish government has established a procedure to restore the economy to an ex-ante COVID-19 level in four phases.

At present, almost the entire Spanish territory has completed most of the first phase (apart from Madrid and Barcelona) which means that moving freely within your own province is allowed and hotels, as well as stores with less than 400 m², can reopen with a 50% occupancy rate. Some islands in the Balearic and Canary Islands are currently in the next phase and public beaches and baths are open again.

In the following phases, the restrictions will be further relaxed and inter-provincial travel will be possible again. Industrial, commercial and service activities can be resumed at 100%, but with respect for social distancing and health protection measures. The government expects the final phase could be reached by mid-June.

With regard to the validity of contracts, the government has regulated the effects of force majeure on contractual relations in a somewhat confusing manner, particularly as regards to contracts with consumers (leasing/rentals, financial services, travel agencies, academies, gyms, wedding celebrations, etc.). The consumer may terminate ongoing contracts if it is impossible for the entrepreneur to provide the service.

As far as the business and employment situation is concerned, temporary employment regulations have been approved while we are in a state of alarm and it has been agreed that they may be extended once the state of alarm has ended, as it is not possible to re-employ all staff while the companies are exposed to a stress situation. The government is also considering the adoption of a guaranteed minimum income for socially disadvantaged families.

Currently there are restrictions on international flights. National flights are allowed for work or health reasons only.

In the judicial sector, procedural deadlines have been suspended or interrupted until the state of alarm ceases, allowing access to the courts only in urgent cases in the criminal justice sector.

Author: Luis Sánchez Pérez, attorney at law

Medina Cuadros Abogados