The coronavirus has subjected the world to a health crisis that will mark an era. After exploding in China a few months ago, the covid-19 has managed to spread to all continents, although it has been primed especially in Europe and the United States, already becoming the epicenter of infections. After frightening the Asian giant, Italy was the European power that received the greatest onslaught of cases, although these have multiplied exponentially in Spain to the point of the state of alarm has been prolonged four times. These are the most relevant data of the day:
Figures of infected and deceased in Spain
The confirmed coronavirus cases by PCR in Spain add up to a total of 222,857, according to the last official count of the Ministry of Health, made public this Friday, May 8. The Community of Madrid is the autonomous region with the most infected with covid-19.
The number of deceased has risen to 26,299, of which more than a third are concentrated in Madrid. On the positive side, 131,148 patients have been discharged. In any case, it should be borne in mind that as regards the number of infected, the Health data are usually somewhat lower than the real ones, since the regional councils always have more up-to-date data.
After Madrid, Catalonia is the community with the most infections:
State of alarm
The decree of the alarm state in Spain establishes that people must stay at home and only in these cases will they be able to circulate on public roads (always individually, unless accompanying people with disabilities, minors, the elderly, or for other just cause):
– Acquisition of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities
– Assistance to health centers, services and establishments
– Travel to the workplace to carry out your work, professional or business provision
– Walks and individual sports (in the established time frames)
– Return to the place of habitual residence
– Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people
– Travel to banks and insurance offices
– Due to force majeure or need situation
– Any other activity of a similar nature (such as walking the dog)
Walks and individual sports
Time bands have been established for ages so that Spaniards can go outdoors to alleviate confinement. These are:
– People between 14 and 70 years old. They can go for a walk between 6:00 and 10:00 and between 20:00 and 23:00. Only once a day (no time limit) and without leaving more than a kilometer from home. You can walk individually or with a person with whom you live.
– Individual sport (without contact). Those who want to do non-professional sports outdoors can also do it between 6.00 and 10.00 and between 20.00 and 23.00. Only once a day (no time limit) and in the same municipality.
– Dependents and over 70 years. They can go for a walk between 10.00 and 12.00 and between 19.00 and 20.00, accompanied by a caretaker if required. Once a day and without leaving more than a kilometer from home.
– Under 14 years old. They can go for a walk between 12.00 and 19.00 for an hour and without leaving more than a kilometer from home.
Municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants are exempt from these time limitations, so their neighbors can go out whenever they want, always respecting health recommendations.
The government has approved a phased de-escalation plan until we reach the new normality in which we will live until obtaining a coronavirus vaccine. The application unit will be the province or the island, which will advance as they meet the established sanitary criteria. These are the phases:
– PHASE 0 (from May 4): Gaps of economic activity are opened: opening of premises and establishments, always by appointment, for individual customer service. Restaurants may open to serve food at home, but there will be no consumption on the premises. Individual training of federated athletes and professional leagues is allowed.
– PHASE 1 (from May 11, depending on the health indicators): Partial start of activities such as small business is allowed. In restoration, terraces are opened with limitations up to 50% of the capacity. Hotels open but their common areas cannot be used. Activities in agriculture and fishing are resumed. Places of worship may open with a third of the capacity. Home meetings of up to 10 people and wake with security measures are allowed. You can go to second residences (within the same province).
– PHASE 2 (from May 25, depending on the health indicators): The interior space of bars and restaurants is opened with a third of the capacity only for table service (provided they have guarantees of separation). Cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and concerts reopen with a capacity limited to one third and preassigned seats. Places of worship may increase the capacity to 50%. Hunting and sport fishing are allowed. Weddings can be held with limits on the number of guests.
– PHASE 3 (from June 8, depending on the health indicators): General mobility is made more flexible. Reopening of beaches and pools. In the commercial field, the capacity will be limited to 50% with a minimum distance of two meters. In restaurants, restrictions on seating and occupancy are relaxed, but strict conditions for separation from the public are maintained. The common areas and the recreational areas of the shopping centers can now be used.
-PHASE 4 (from June 22, depending on the health indicators): Travel between provinces is allowed.
In the framework of the limitation of freedom of movement linked to the state of alarm, some of the prohibited activities are:
– All trips that are not essential
– Go to the gym, as well as bathe on the beach
– Visit family or friends (except to serve elderly, dependent or vulnerable people)
– Go to eat at a bar or restaurant (these businesses can only serve food at home)
– Go to entertainment venues (must be closed)
The Cabinet approved on March 17 an economic and social shock plan to face the coronavirus crisis in Spain in which it groups a set of economic emergency measures. The total cost will be around 200,000 million euros, as reported by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. These are the 10 most outstanding measures:
Mortgage moratorium. Approval of a moratorium on the payment of mortgages to people who have reduced their income or are unemployed due to the coronavirus.
Payment of supplies. Moratorium on the payment of basic supplies (water, electricity and gas) to vulnerable groups.
Social bonus. Automatic extension until September of the social bonus to beneficiary households.
Attention to elderly and dependent people. Creation of a specific contingency fund to reinforce care for the elderly, homeless and in nursing homes and dependents. Some 300 million euros will be allocated.
Flexibility of municipal spending. Relaxation of the spending rule so that municipalities can use their surplus if they invest it in social care items such as care for dependency, social services and all kinds of social problems associated with the coronavirus crisis. Some 300 million euros will be allocated.
ERTE authorization. The ERTE authorization process (temporary employment regulation files) will be streamlined. They will be considered made by force majeure and will be handled quickly.
Collection of unemployment in case of ERTE. Unemployment benefit guarantee in case of ERTE. All workers affected by these procedures will have the right to collect unemployment even if they do not meet the minimum contribution period required for it. In addition, the time the perception of this benefit lasts (counter to zero) will not be considered consumed.
Extension of unemployment benefit. Automatic extension of unemployment benefits. No one will lose their rights because they cannot go to the employment offices.
Boost to telework. Facilitate teleworking through an “important” endowment for companies to buy computers, while allowing workers to adapt or reduce their workday to care for their dependents, making it possible to reduce 100% of the day.
Help with family care. Right to family care for all workers without being sanctioned or dismissed (reduction of working hours even up to 100% or reorganization for family care up to second grade – grandchildren and grandparents-).
Pedro Sánchez’s government also approved several measures on March 31 to guarantee the housing of tenants affected by the crisis. These are the rental aids for coronavirus:
Microcredits to pay the rent. The State makes microcredits available to tenants of small landowners at interest rates 0 so that people who are in a vulnerable situation can pay the rent.
Great owners: take away 50%. Large homeowners -funds, socimis and real estate- must carry out a 50% reduction or a debt restructuring in 3 years.
The State will pay the rent to the most vulnerable (people who remain vulnerable after the crisis). Up to 900 euros per month and 200 euros for the payment of supplies, maintenance, etc.
Extension of leases. Extraordinary 6-month extension of the rental contracts for the habitual residence to avoid abusive increases.
Suspension of evictions. The Executive orders the suspension of evictions without housing alternative for six months after the end of the state of alarm.
The Government of Spain has established the control of land borders to decrease the risk of spread of the coronavirus. The restriction will last until the alarm state ends. Until that time, only Spanish citizens, residents of Spain, cross-border workers, and those who document documentary reasons of force majeure or situation of need can access the national territory.
The closure of land borders will not affect the transport of goods to secure the supply chain. Nor to members of diplomatic and consular offices. Spaniards who are out of the country at this time may return. It does not affect Gibraltar or Andorra.
Closed colleges, institutes and universities
Kindergartens, schools, institutes and universities remain closed throughout Spain at least during the period of validity of the state of alarm, although it is very likely that this period should be extended.
Situation in China and other countries
While in China the thrust of the coronavirus subsides, in the US the epidemic is advancing and in Italy the data have not yet given rise to hope. The latest information indicates that the number of infected continues to grow rapidly.