Spain Closes Non-Essential Retail Stores, Joining France + Italy Amid Coronavirus Safety Concerns

Governments around the world continue to bolster public safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Spain announced today the closure of all schools, restaurants, bars and hotels and nonessential stores. The move, under Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s two-week state of emergency, comes after an increase of 1,500 infections in 24 hours since confirming 5,700 cases yesterday, according to AP. The U.S. had 1,629 cases and 41 deaths as of Friday, according to the CDC.

Earlier, President Donald Trump announced the expansion of his European travel ban to include the U.K. and Ireland — which were not on the list Friday — after deaths related to the coronavirus in the U.K. nearly doubled overnight. (All U.S. citizens can still return from Europe and the U.K.)

Meanwhile, France revealed today that on Sunday all restaurants, retailers and other non-essential stores will close. Ahead of the policy, the government imposed restrictions of public gatherings of more than 100 people.

Countries have ramped up efforts to mitigate the outbreak as Italy, which has 17,000 confirmed cases, continues to remain on countrywide quarantine. Italy has the most infections of any country outside of China.

Patagonia, Reformation, Phillip Lim, Supreme and more U.S. retailers have announced their decisions to close stores and reassess operations during the pandemic.

Some businesses in the retail sector have responded with donations and assistance. Yesterday, in a public address alongside Donald Trump, Walmart and Target were among corporate giants that have agreed to participate in the administration’s health safety objectives.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his company as well as their namesake foundations revealed that they have been donating to countries most affected by the spread of COVID-19, including the U.S.,. Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.

Kering, the parent of Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and more, donated 2 million euros ($2.25 million) to health-care institutions across Italy. Other big Italian players, including Donatella Versace, Chiara Ferragni, Sergio Rossi and Santoni have also stepped up with sizable donations.

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