Spain has imposed a nationwide lockdown, similar to that applied in Italy. The Spanish government measures come as almost 8,000 coronavirus cases and 294 deaths have been registered in the country, of which 70 cases and four deaths in Igualada alone.
Igualada, province of Barcelona in Catalonia, is one of the major leather clusters in Europe, home to over 30 tanneries and employing around 1,200 people. It is also home to Spain’s leather museum. As streets turn quiet, the tanneries are faced with a challenging scenario, even though no cases of COVID-19 seem to have been reported among the region’s tannery workers.
Speaking to local press on March 15, Marc Castells, Mayor of Igualada, said the coronavirus pandemic could have a higher economic impact than in the rest of the territory and, if no immediate measures are taken, unemployment could increase by 50% as he anticipates an avalanche of temporary employment regulation files. Another major concern is that the confinement is preventing the normal transport of goods in the area. Measures regarding health security and the free movement of goods are expected to be taken in the next few days.
Meanwhile, automotive manufacturers Nissan and Seat have announced that the plants located in Barcelona’s Free Zone would be paralysed due to the lack of tires from a supplier from the Anoia region. Both OEMs are said to have stopped production on March 13.