Coronavirus Spain · Procedures and Rights under Quarantine

16 March 2020 - Sonia Gumpert Melgosa

Sonia Gumpert Melgosa Abogada +34 91 319 96 86

As of 14 March 2020, a national state of alarm was decreed for a period of 15 calendar days which, undoubtedly, implies the application extraordinary measures which provisionally restrict or limit our individual rights in favour of the collective interest seen as priority. But not just that. The extraordinary measures also protect or preserve our rights and interests with that same temporary limitation.

One of the main measures of protection is the highly demanded suspension of all judicial and administrative proceedings, actions and acts in progress. The only actions carried out will be those which are urgent and unable to be postponed and those which the judges and administrative authorities agree upon to avoid irreparable damage. Each case will have to be individually analysed to confirm whether or not this risk of irreparable damage is present.

Together with the procedural deadlines, it was also decreed, as is natural, that prescriptive periods and expiry of actions and rights would be suspended, so that there is no loss or extinction thereof during the time this state of alarm is in effect.

We are facing, thus, a general declaration of the disqualification of procedural time periods and prescriptive periods for actions which aims to ensure that our rights are not harmed by this exceptional state of alarm that, with regard to such rights and actions, will roll past them as though it had never existed.

Other than the consequences for the legal sphere in procedural matters, measures have been adopted that restrict our freedom of movement, oblige us to stay home and only allow us to leave to meet basic needs. Furthermore, all activities that imply meeting of people, face-to-face educational or training activities, leisure and cultural activities, etc. have been suspended at the national level.

The measures that the Spanish government decreed as of 14 March for 15 calendar days should not paralyse activity in Spain of national and international companies, insofar as their activity allows for other formulas than that of face-to-face interaction.

In this time of new challenges for companies in all legal areas, the role of lawyers and tax advisors is enormously important to find and offer clients legal solutions adapted to this new period and its consequences.

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