Apr 25, 2020 - Health

Spain's prime minister looks to ease coronavirus restrictions in May

In this image, Sanchez is in a suit talking
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at a session at the Lower Chamber of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on April 22. Photo: Sebastian Mariscal/EFE/AFP via Getty Images

Spain will begin gradually easing stay-at-home restrictions on May 2 if the evolution of novel coronavirus cases look positive, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Saturday.

Why it matters: Spain has reported the most COVID-19 cases outside of the U.S. (almost 224,000), although it has recorded nearly 4,000 fewer deaths than Italy — the second most-affected country in Europe, per Johns Hopkins. Sánchez said the country's reopening, or its "new normal," would continue until a vaccine is found.

Driving the news: Sánchez said that Spain's decision-making body, the Council of Ministers, will approve the country's gradual reopening plans next Tuesday.

What he's saying: "It is important to strictly follow the rules for the departure of minors from tomorrow. If we act with prudence and the evolution continues to be positive, from May 2 outings for individual physical activity and walks with people with whom we live will be allowed," Sánchez said on Saturday.

  • "We will advance at different speeds, but with the same rules, towards the new normal that will rule our lives until we have a vaccine," he added.

Flashback: Spain began letting children outside this week after forcing them to remain home for five weeks, and factories and construction were allowed to resume business.

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