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Spain to start “getting back to normal” towards end of May but lockdown still extended 

Spain could start “getting back to normal” from the second half of May but it might be a scenario of “one step forward, one step back” according to the Prime Minister.

 Pedro Sánchez says the next phase of the
fight against coronavirus will be “gradual, safe and coordinated” and
each time one restriction is eased, its consequences will be looked at,
evaluated and rescinded or continued.

Asking the Congress of Deputies for an
extension of the State of Emergency until May 10th, he, said it was the first
time he had done so “with cautious optimism”.

The continued lockdown to May 10 was formally
approved.

Today, Spain’s coronavirus figures show
another 440 deaths, bringing the total to 22,157, the number of confirmed cases
to 213,024 and recoveries to 89,250.

Mr. Sanchez praised citizens for their
exemplary discipline to contain the spread of the virus and said the number of
recoveries was another reason for hope.

The Prime Minister said it was now possible to
design the next scenario, that of de-escalation, but the gravity of the
situation required caution and to act gradually and safely. Before lifting the
general confinement, it was necessary to ensure compliance with the criteria
set by the World Health Organisation and the experts: stop transmission; detect
each infection through tests; control the most vulnerable places; avoid
imported infections; prevent cases in the workplace and educational centres and
to offer people full information on the rules of hygiene and social distance.

He said that over the next few weeks, with the
horizon of the next phase in the fight against the pandemic in the second half
of May, the rules and limitations will be adjusted to the circumstances, always
with the premise of protecting citizens and the health system. 

“The de-escalation will be slow and
gradual precisely because it must be safe,” he said in the lower house.
After each advance in the liberation of spaces of mobility and social
activity-, its effects will have to be verified: if the virus remains
controlled, a new step will be considered; if not, restrictions will be
reinstated.

The Prime Minister highlighted two new
features of the Royal Decree extending the State of Emergency.

The first is that related to the relief of the
confinement of boys and girls from April 26, the start date of the new
extension. After the deliberations of the health and childhood authorities,
Sánchez explained, minors may take controlled walks. The new rule will allow
brief walks for those under 14 years old, who can run, jump and exercise within
a kilometre of home. An adult must accompany them, with a maximum of three
children, and a distance space will be respected

Secondly, the Royal Decree enables the
Minister of Health to modify, expand or restrict the measures, places,
establishments and commercial, cultural and recreational activities allowed,
which Mr. Sánchez has defined as an “essential legal tool” to advance
in the different stages towards the “new normal”.

The head of the Executive said “we are in
the right direction” to undertake the transition process.