The Protocol for Reopening the Hotel Sector does Not Include Capacity Limits

The draft protocol for the reopening of hotels, presented to the Government on Thursday and pending approval by the Ministry of Health, does not establish percentages or limits in terms of capacity.

On Thursday, the draft protocol for the reopening for hotels and tourist apartments, prepared by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE), in collaboration with the hotel employer Cehat and the Secretary of State for Tourism, which has been the great proponent behind the creation of a single health protocol, was presented to the Government. Regional sector organisations, hotel chains and companies have also participated in its preparation.

Now, this unique guide, which aims to unify the guidelines for the reopening of accommodation establishments, only needs to be approved by the Ministry of Health, which is expected to happen this week. On Monday, 11 May – when phase 1 of the exit from lockdown begins for most regions – hotels will be able to reopen their doors, although in accordance with certain conditions.

The Creation of Companies Collapses by 70% in April, with Construction Leading the Decline

Although 2,711 companies were created during the month, that figure represented a historical collapse, with Cataluña and Madrid leading the decline.

Although 2,711 companies were created in Spain during the month of April, that figure represented a historical collapse in the number of companies incorporated in a month, with Cataluña and Madrid leading the decreases.

The number is 70% lower than during the same month last year, and 67% lower than in March, according to the Study on Business Demography carried out by Informa D&B, Cesce’s subsidiary company.

Sales at Shopping Centres Fell by More than 61% in March

The businesses most affected by Covid-19 in the shopping centres managed by CBRE were fashion retailers, whose sales plummeted by 70.6%; and leisure and sports retailers. Meanwhile, food sales fell by 9.3% in March.

After six consecutive years of growth, the declaration of the State of Emergency resulted in a change in trend for the revenues of shopping centres in Spain.

In this way, during the first quarter of 2020, retail sales in shopping centres fell by 15.1% in inter-annual terms and, specifically, in March – the State of Emergency came into effect on 14 March – they decreased by 61.6% compared to the same month in 2019, according to data from the real estate consultancy CBRE.

Unemployment Rose by 282,891 People in April to 3.9 Million, with 25,000 More People Out of Work in the Construction Sector

Almost 3.9 million people were unemployed at the end of April, the highest figure on record since May 2016. Moreover, 25% of those in work and registered for Social Security, 3.4 million people in total, are affected by an ERTE.

Coronavirus caused unemployment to soar in April by 282,891, or 8%. That represents the largest increase in the month of April in the entire historical series, according to data from the Ministry of Labour and the Social Economy published on Tuesday. Moreover, 25% of those in work and registered for Social Security, 3.4 million people in total, are affected by an ERTE.

In this way, almost 3.9 million people were unemployed at the end of April, the highest figure on record since May 2016, having increased by 7.97%. The unemployment data for April, like that for March, does not include those workers who have been temporarily suspended from work or whose hours have been reduced as a result of an ERTE, since the definition of ‘registered unemployed’ does not consider them to be unemployed. It should be noted that April saw the destruction of fewer jobs than March.

The Bank of Spain Warns of House Price Decreases and Fewer Sales After Coronavirus

The supervisory body has also warned about the risk of payment defaults by families and companies, although there is a bank ‘cushion’ of €93 billion to cover a default rate of 13%.

The Bank of Spain’s spring Financial Stability Report warns that the impact of the health crisis on the real estate market will be significant, “at least in the short term”. It recalls that the market was already in a phase of deceleration, in terms of both activity and transactions, as well as prices, after the notable expansion of recent years.

However, it offers some hope by stating that the degree of recovery will depend on the extent to which the economic and financial effects of this upheaval persist. It also underlines that house sales contracted in 2019 in both the new build and, to a greater extent, second-hand housing segment. For its part, the growth in average house prices moderated, although the “high degree of geographic heterogeneity” continued.

Owners of Nursing Homes Ask the Government for a Change in the Management Model

The high number of deaths in nursing homes due to coronavirus in Spain has called the current model into question; a new medicalised system is being requested.

The Association of Companies providing Services for Dependents (Aeste), which groups together large operators of nursing homes in Spain, such as DomusVi, Sanitas and Ballesol, wants the Government to consider a move from the current residential model towards a more medicalised system. The high number of deaths in nursing homes due to coronavirus in Spain has called into question the continuity of the current model. Although around a hundred lawsuits opened by the Prosecutor’s Office still remain open, the large operators are thinking about the future.

The transformation of the sector would involve a significant cost for the public coffers, especially those of the autonomous communities, which is the administrative level responsible for these centres. However, “in reality, the pressure in hospitals would be alleviated, which is why it would mean transferring funds from one sector to another”, explains the Secretary General of Aeste, Jesús Cubero.

The Government Lifts the Veto on Construction Work in Buildings with Residents

The Ministry of Health is partially lifting the prohibition over the performance of non-emergency building work in both residential and commercial properties.

The Government is going to allow construction work to be carried out in buildings inhabited by residents. That is reflected in Order SND / 385/2020 issued by the Ministry of Health in the Official State Gazette published in an extraordinary way on Sunday.

“In order to limit the concentration of people in buildings where work is being carried out, and where construction workers have to share certain common spaces with the residents and other users, order SND / 340/2020 dated 12 April was approved. It suspends certain activities relating to intervention work in existing buildings where there is a risk of contagion by Covid-19. The evolution of the health crisis is forcing the adaptation of the measures adopted and in this framework, the Order must be amended to include, within the works excepted from the suspension, those carried out in premises, homes or other specific areas of an uninhabited building or areas to which residents do not have access for the duration of the work, provided that the conditions established in this order are met”, states the decree.

Sareb Offers 10,000 Social Housing Properties to Town Halls

The Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Bank Restructuring (Sareb) is expanding its social housing offer during the Covid-19 crisis by 6,000 units.

The Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Bank Restructuring (Sareb) has launched an offensive to offer a portfolio of 10,000 social housing properties to Town Halls all over Spain. The intention is that they will use them to house families with economic problems resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports from El Confidencial.

Until now, Sareb had made 4,000 homes available to the administrations, but the crisis generated by Covid-19 has led the entity to focus its efforts on reaching agreements with as many administrations as possible.

Tourist Homes Expect Losses of €2.9 Billion, but Predict a Recovery in 2021

In an interview with Brainsre.news, Tolo Gomila, the President of Fevitur, has warned that the losses on tourist homes due to Covid-19 already amount to €448 million. And he believes that they will reach €2.9 billion in total.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the suspension of almost all the economic and productive activity in the country. Spain is facing its greatest health crisis in decades, which will undoubtedly lead to a new economic crisis. Covid-19 has affected every sector of the economy, but one of the hardest hit has been tourism, which has been seriously affected by restrictions on the movement of people, the closure of hotels and homes for tourist use, ERTEs and the mass cancellation of accommodation, events and flights.

Tolo Gomila, President of the Spanish Federation of Tourist Home and Apartment Associations (Fevitur), has indicated, in an interview with Brainsre.news, that this segment of the economy expects to incur losses of €2.9 billion due to the pandemic. As such, it has demanded new measures from the Executive to address the crisis that has caused coronavirus in the country and the rest of the world.

Banks Get Ready for More than 500,000 Requests for Mortgage Moratoriums

Financial institutions expect at least half a million families to apply for a moratorium on their mortgages in May, with an impact on between 500,000 and 1.3 million real estate loans.

Financial institutions expect the launch of a mortgage moratorium for those homeowners affected by the coronavirus crisis to lead to an avalanche of requests in May, more than 500,000 to be specific, according to El Confidencial. Of those, between 75% and 90% will come from private clients.

According to a report compiled by the consulting firm Álvarez & Marsal, the moratorium will have an impact on between 13% and 33% of the mortgage portfolios of Spanish banks, which could mean an impact on between 500,000 and 1.3 million real estate loans.