Spain's prime minister looks to ease coronavirus restrictions in May
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.
- Guidelines to cautiously reopen parts of Italy will likely be applied starting May 4, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday.
Go deeper: The global experiment of exiting lockdown