As countries across the world go into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, here in Spain we are entering our third week of isolation.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has extended the State of Emergency until April 11th and all residents are banned from leaving their homes for all but essential reasons. The police will be issuing fines between €600 to €30,000 to those leaving the house without a valid reason and it has been reported that 3,270 citizens across Spain have already received fines for ignoring the isolation measures.
Here is a recap on the current rules, and what is considered an essential reason for leaving your home:
- All businesses are closed except for essential businesses such as supermarkets, tobacconists, chemists, banks, and petrol stations. Closed businesses include bars, restaurants, hairdressers, and estate agents.
- You are only permitted to travel to work if you are unable to do your job from home. This includes medical professionals and supermarket workers.
- You should not leave your home unless you need to make an essential trip such as going to the supermarket, bank, chemist or doctor.
- Only one person per car is permitted except in an emergency.
- You cannot visit friends and relatives.
- You cannot leave your house to go for a walk, bike ride, or any other form of exercise.
- You can walk your dog but you must stay within 100m of your home.
- Hotels and tourist accommodation is closed as of 26th March 2020.
Please note these rules are subject to change and we would recommend referring to an official source if you have any queries.
As cases of Covid-19 continue to spread, many people across Spain are losing their jobs, having their working hours reduced, or being forced to close down their businesses as a result of the lockdown. The Spanish government has put in place various measures to help at this time. These include:
- Autonomos – The self-employed will be exempt from paying Social Security contributions and can claim a special benefit (prestación)
- Workers – Those who are temporarily laid off (ERTE) will be able to access unemployment benefits. Workers are permitted to reduce their working hours in order to care for their families, children and grandparents but will only be entitled to receive pay for the hours completed.
- Employers – Business owners who employ staff will not have to pay social security contributions for their laid-off workers while the ERTE is in effect.
- Mortgages – The freezing of mortgage payments has been introduced for affected workers
We advise you to contact your employer or assesoria, if you have any questions about these measures.
Here at Benigest we have emailed all of our clients with the latest rules and regulations so you know where you stand if you are affected.