Alert March 2020


Urgent summary of Royal Decree 463/2020, 14 March, declaring the state of alarm to tackle the situation of sanitary crisis caused by COVID-19.

Lock down in Spain officially started yesterday with an urgent Decree which restricts freedom of movement and CLOSES DOWN ANY RETAIL ACTIVITY with some obvious exceptions such as FOOD and PHARMACEUTICALS, and some less obvious exceptions, such as HAIR DRESSERS and DRY CLEANERS (I was not aware that hair dressers and dry cleaners were such powerful lobbies in Spain) though this is going to be rectified, I have now heard.

More interesting is that all time limits for court proceedings (with some exceptions such as habeas corpus, fundamental rights related proceedings), administrative proceedings and statute of limitations, are stayed. So, for instance, time lines for antitrust investigations which in Spain are subject to strict duration, are suspended; same goes for statute of limitations (for damages claims, for instance). See Royal Decree here and summary here.