Spain on Monday began to lift its stringent coronavirus lockdown as the first step in its four-stage plan to return to a “new normal” after the disease infected more than 218,000 and killed over 25,000 people in the country.
The first of the four phases, or “phase zero,” is a “preparation phase,” involving measures such as allowing children outside for an hour a day and adults to carry out some form of exercise outdoors.
Professional athletes are also allowed to hold individual training.
Moreover, hairdressers are able to attend customers who have made a prior appointment, and restaurants will start to offer takeout and delivery services.
Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the four-stage plan at the end of last month to scale down the restrictions that have shut down the country’s economy. He expects the country to return to a “new normal” by the end of June.
He said the plan aimed to “recover daily life without risking the health of the people,” and was based on observations of other countries and expert advice.
“Each territory will move at its own pace, we will advance in each place as the evolution of the epidemic allows. The pandemic has hit our country unevenly, and our geographical and population diversity means we are not having a homogenous scaling down,” he said.
Despite the lifting of certain restrictions, Sanchez stressed on Saturday that wearing masks would still be compulsory on public transport.