Madrid, Apr 25 (efe-epa).- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday that assuming coronavirus cases and deaths remain on a downward trajectory, the lockdown imposed in mid-March will be eased on May 2 with an official authorization for people to leave their homes to take walks or exercise.
That step is just one element in a comprehensive initiative to re-open Spain over the course of May and June.
The Socialist premier said he will brief the presidents of Spain’s autonomous regions about the details in a teleconference Sunday with an eye toward having the Cabinet formalize the plan early next week.
The rollback of restrictions will be gradual, “asymmetrical” – because of the differential impact of the virus across Spain – and coordinated by the national government in strict adherence with the recommendations of medical experts, Sanchez said.
He addressed the nation a day before Spain’s more than 6 million children under 14 will be allowed to venture out of their homes for the first time in 43 days.
Under the measure, which was announced in response to persistent demands from regional authorities and specialists in child health and development, youngsters can spend an hour outside accompanied by an adult family member.
But the children will be required to remain within a 1 km (0.6 mi) radius of their homes.
If letting kids go out doesn’t result in an increase in contagion, adults will be released from confinement on May 2, Sanchez said.
Stressing the need for prudence, he reminded Spaniards that “we don’t have absolute certainty about how to transit” this phase of the crisis.
Within Europe, Spain is second only to Italy in deaths from coronavirus, with 22,902 fatalities, and has had roughly 10,000 more cases than their Mediterranean near-neighbor.
In the last two weeks, the global center of the pandemic that began in China has shifted from Europe to the United States, which accounts for a quarter of the more than 200,000 deaths worldwide.
Saturday marked the second consecutive day where Spain saw recoveries from Covid-19 exceed new infections. on this occasion by 3,353 to 2,944.
Additional deaths, however, increased from 367 in the previous report to 378. EFE nac/dr