Insurance company Mapfre has estimated that the Spanish economy will contract by up to 10.7%

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Insurance company Mapfre has estimated that the Spanish economy will contract by up to 10.7% this year due to the coronavirus crisis.

This would lead to unemployment rates of between 18 and 23.5%, according to Mapfre’s calculations.

Meanwhile the president of the Spanish Trade Confederation (CEC), Pedro Campo, has warned that between 20 and 30% of small businesses will close by summer if they do not receive aid from the government.

Hotels saw a 66% plunge in foreign visitors in March, even though the shutdown only came late in the month.

Tourism accounts for 12% of gross domestic product in the world’s second-most visited nation.

In further evidence of the downturn, automotive industry association Anfac said March car production fell 45% year-on-year as factories stood empty.

Bankinter, Spain’s fourth-largest bank and the first to report quarterly earnings, says it has almost doubled provisions to reflect the worsening economic impact from the outbreak, which made its first quarter net profit shrink by 10%.

In Madrid, authorities have begun shutting down hotels that had been hastily converted into medical centres after the disease left city hospitals unable to cope.

Spain detected its first case of the virus, a German tourist in the Canary Islands, at the end of January and only acknowledged transmission among Spaniards in early March.

But a new genealogical study shows it was likely circulating through the native population by mid-February.

Scientists at Madrid’s Instituto de Salud Carlos III also found the virus entered Spain from at least 15 different points.

The Health Ministry has set a maximum price of hand sanitizer at €0.021 a milliliter.

Gels and hydro-alcoholic solutions will be sold to the public at this price from today, when the order comes into effect.

The government has also set the price of disposable surgical face masks at €0.96.

La Liga’s clubs have been told that football matches in Spain will be played behind closed doors until 2021.