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From today children under 14 have been allowed to leave their homes in a controlled manner and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced yesterday that adults may also be allowed to go out for exercise and walks from next Saturday 2nd May but only if the infection statistics continue to show a downward trend. In a news conference last night, he said "If we act with prudence, this first relief measure will be followed by another one a week later. If the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner, starting on May 2nd outings will be allowed for individual activity and for walks with the people that we live with."

The Prime Minister explained that the de-escalation of confinement measures would take place throughout May but warned that there was no rush to re-open Spain. "I would like to convey to you that importance of being cautious. This is not a race to see who is the first to re-open a shopping centre or a small business." He added that the lifting of restrictions will occur at different speeds depending on the situation in each of Spain's 17 regions. "We will not advance at the same speed but according to the same rules ... in an asymmetric but coordinated fashion. We will do it as a team", adding that it might not only differ between autonomous communities but could be down to provincial and even municipal level. The Government will be responsible for the management of the de-escalation, despite protests from the Catalan and Basque Country regional governments who want more control of how the measures are rolled out.

Sánchez did not go into further details about the relaxing of restrictions for adults but confirmed that the de-escalation plan, which will cover the month of  May and could be extended into June, will be approved by the Spanish Cabinet early next week. It will be based on experts reports, as well as recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which will analyse the rate of infection, hospital capacity (health authorities should have the means to double ICU capacity if necessary), testing capacity (all patients should receive PCR tests when admitted to hospital, for example) and the ability to identify and isolated infected people. He said "The second stage is fraught with risks and dangers. We cannot under-estimate the enemy and we need to act with prudence" and warned that the health system must be capable of responding to the outbreak of another epidemic if necessary.

He admitted that the crisis cannot be overcome until there is a vaccine for COVID-19 which is not expected for "many months" but he stressed that there have been "partial victories" such as the reduction of infections from 35% before the State of Alarm was imposed to 1.5% now and that the number of recoveries has exceeded the number of new cases for the second day in a row.

Further details on the easing of restrictions for adults will be outlined once the order has been approved but they are likely to be similar to those for the children under 14: maintaining social distancing up to 2 metres, prohibiting social interaction with others outside the immediate household, frequent hand-washing and the use of face masks in certain conditions.

Source: Original from various sources.
Date: Sunday 26th April 2020





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