Spain and France detail coronavirus lockdown exit strategies

(Update 1: updates UK data)

By Jake Threadgould

Madrid Desk, Apr 28 (efe-epa).- Spain and France on Tuesday outlined their strategies for winding down draconian restrictions put in pace to stem the spread of Covid-19, with both opting for 11 May as the date to begin the process.

The announcements from Europe’s second and third-deadliest coronavirus hotspots came a day after the continent’s deadliest, Italy, announced it would gradually reopen its economy from 4 May. 

Spain’s coronavirus lockdown will be lifted in stages although the de-escalation could progress at different speeds at a provincial level, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a televised address Tuesday, without giving fixed dates for each stage.

“By the end of June we will be in a new normality if the evolution of the epidemic is brought under control in all of our territories,” he said.

He warned that until that time travel between the country’s 50 provinces will remain prohibited to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Since the state of alarm came into force in Spain on 14 March, only children have been allowed to go out for a short walk from last Sunday under the supervision of adults.

Adults will be allowed out individually for exercise starting this weekend.

The Transition Toward a New Normality, as Sanchez has billed it, will start on May 11 when small commercial spaces and religious centers will reopen and people over 65 will be allowed to leave their houses.

In the next phases, there will be a partial reopening of restaurants, theaters and cinemas, but the school calendar will recommence only in September, the prime minister said.

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