General overview

On 10 March the Spanish government announced that as of the next day all schools and universities would be closed. From there the Government took rapid action.

On 13 March recreational venues such as ski fields, gymnasiums, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars were closed.

The country was put on wider lockdown on 15 March, which is currently set to last until 29 March (congress will vote on this being extended until 11 April on 25 March).

Citizens are not permitted to leave their homes unless they are carrying out permitted activities such as going to work (for essential businesses only), grocery or pharmacy shopping and dog walking (one person only). While restaurants are closed to the public, their kitchens may remain open for home-delivery services.

Economic situation

General and business response

The Spanish government has announced a range of measures to assist businesses that may be affected by COVID-19. You can read more about the economic measures adopted by the Spanish Government here.

  • Guaranteeing €100 billion (8% of GDP) worth of business loans, covering roughly 80% of each SME loan

  • Permitting SMEs to defer tax payments for up to 6 months, with three months' interest free

  • Deferring tax payments for all companies for a period of six months upon request, with a discount on interest rates

  • Making €400 million available to the Official Credit Institute for the issuing of loans to SMEs in the tourism sector

  • Permitting companies with existing loans from the General Secretary of Industry and SMEs to defer repayment

  • Increasing funding to the Department of Social Security to cover fixed, seasonal employment contracts entered into by companies in the tourism sector between the months of February and June

  • Protecting large Spanish corporates to prevent them being purchased by non-EU entities taking advantage of the stock market crash

  • Announcing that force majeure applies for contract suspensions (ERTE) and reduced working hours as a direct result of COVID-19 – meaning that SMEs (with less than 50 employees on 29 February) don't need to pay the affected employees' social security, and all other companies need only to pay 25% of the norm.

Additionally, customs import and export procedures in the industrial sector will be streamlined for six months.

Advice to exporters

In terms of immediate activity, make the safety and well-being of teams your priority, and invest as needed to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Many businesses are still allowing employees to work from home where this is possible. Check in with your business partners and see how they are doing and how you might be able to support them during this time.

Should you have any team members on the ground in Spain who are unable to work or are working reduced hours, review what benefits you might be entitled to under the ERTE (Regulaciones Temporales de Empleo).

If you have a subsidiary company in Spain and are suffering liquidity issues, we recommend talking with your local advisor to assess which credit line is most appropriate for you.

Business operations

Government and business response

The Spanish government is asking companies to do all they can to avoid making team members redundant, and asks that companies wait until given they are given the official go-ahead to return to business as usual.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
MFAT Export helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Ministry of Health

Global agencies

World health organisation (WHO)
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.