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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.

Go deeper: The global experiment of exiting lockdown

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots shouldn't

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at Capitol Hill in July. Photo Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Monday schools and colleges should be able to reopen for in-person classes, but they must take precautions to ensure the safety of students and teachers during the pandemic, per CNN.

Of note: Students benefit psychologically from being in a classroom, Fauci said. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated for in-person classes resuming, noting in a statement the mental health benefits of doing so. "[T]here is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020."

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.