COVID-19: An updated look at the retail sector in Spain

By Lourdes Ayala, Diana Sendagorta, Antonio Ballesteros

04-2020

Further to the Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19 whereby almost all retail stores opened to the general public (but not offices not open to the public and manufacturing premises), with the exception of those operating in sectors which are deemed "essential", were shutting down, the Spanish government, by means of the Royal Decree-Law 10/2020, of 29 March, has implemented even more restrictive measures.

In brief, this new Royal Decree sets forth that not only retail stores open to the public but also offices not open to the public and manufacturing offices, save for those deemed "essential", are to be shut down until at least 9 April 2020. Employees rendering services in those non-essential activities are now deemed under a "remunerated leave" situation. That is, they do still receive their salary but shall recover non-worked hours once this exceptional situation ends and prior to 31 December 2020.

The "essential" sectors that are now allowed to continue their activity are, among others: 

  1. Activities referred to in the Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March: retail stores for food, beverages, products and basic necessities; pharmaceutical and health stores; veterinary centres or clinics, opticians, orthopedics stores; press kiosks; fuel stations; tobacco, IT equipment and pet food shops; mobile telephony or courier services; dry-cleaning and laundries activities.

  2. Activities involved in the market supply chain and in the operation of the services of the production centres of goods and services of first need, including food, drinks, animal feed, hygienic products, medicines, health products or any product necessary for the protection of health, allowing the distribution of these to the final destination.

  3. Home meal delivery services.

  4. Services in the chain of production and distribution of goods, services, health technology, medical material, protective equipment, health and hospital equipment and any other material necessary for the provision of health services.

  5. Services 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 list.

  6. Services in penal institutions, civil protection, sea rescue, rescue and fire prevention and extinction, mine safety, and traffic and road safety. Likewise, those that work in private security companies that provide security transport, alarm response, patrol or discontinuous surveillance services, and those that need to be used for the performance of security services to guarantee essential services and supply the population.

  7. Services indispensable to supporting the maintenance of the armed forces' material and equipment.

  8. Health centres as well as those that (i) attend to the elderly, minors, dependent persons or persons with disabilities, and those that work in companies, R&D&I and biotechnology centres 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 that supply products necessary for this research, and (iv) those that work in funeral services and other related activities.

  9. Services of animal health care centres, services and establishments.

  10. Services in the field of press kiosks and public and private media or news agencies, and in their printing or distribution.

  11. Financial services, including banking, insurance and investment for the provision of services which are essential, and activities relating to payment infrastructures and financial markets.

  12. Telecommunications, audiovisual and essential computer services, and the networks and facilities which support them and the sectors or subsectors necessary for their proper functioning, in particular those essential for the proper provision of public services and the operation of the remote working of public employees.

  13. Services related to the protection and care of victims of gender violence.

  14. Lawyers, social graduates, translators, interpreters and psychologists and those who attend the procedural proceedings not suspended by Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March.

  15. Those that provide services in legal offices and consultancy, administrative and social graduate agencies, and external and own services of prevention of occupational risks, in urgent matters.

  16. Those that provide services in notaries' offices and registries for the fulfillment of the essential services established by the General Directorate of Legal Security and Public Faith.

  17. Those that provide cleaning, maintenance, urgent breakdown repair and surveillance services, as well as those that provide services for the collection, management and treatment of hazardous waste, as well as solid urban waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous, waste water collection and treatment, decontamination activities and other waste management services and the transport and removal of by-products or any of the entities belonging to the public sector.

  18. Those working on water supply, purification, conduction, potabilisation and sanitation activities.

  19. Those that are indispensable for the provision of meteorological services for forecasting and observation and the associated processes of maintenance, monitoring and control of operational processes.

  20. Those of the operator designated by the State to provide the universal postal service, in order to provide the services of collection, acceptance, transport, sorting, distribution and delivery for the exclusive purpose of guaranteeing that universal postal service.

  21. Those providing services in those sectors or sub-sectors involved in the import and supply of health care equipment, such as logistics, transport, storage and customs transit (freight forwarders) companies and, in general, all those involved in health care corridors.

  22. Those that work in the distribution and delivery of products acquired in the trade by internet, telephone or correspondence.

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