Spain envisages gradual return to normal life after 26 April

Spain, which has been under a lockdown since 15 March, would slowly see life return to normal by the end of the month, news wires reported. Finance minister and government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said some social distancing measures put in place to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus could begin to be lifted after 26 April, when the country's state of emergency is set to expire.

Montero told Spanish TV channel Antena 3 that citizens would gradually "regain their normal life" after this date, although there would be "clear instructions" from the government on how to interact in public spaces.

Spaniards are currently allowed to go shopping for essentials at grocery stores but are otherwise mostly forbidden from going outside, even to go for walks or to play sports. The strict restrictions are having an effect, with the number of new infections appearing to have stabilised in recent days. Spain's Health Ministry said the number of new infections rose by 4% on Wednesday, the same as on Tuesday.

At the beginning of the crisis, the number of new infections was climbing by more than 20% a day. In total, Spain has reported just under 146,700 cases of Covid-19, putting it only behind the United States. Spain has seen more than 14,500 deaths.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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