Hundreds of thousands of people have been allowed to return to work for the first time since a coronavirus outbreak in Spain caused the government to impose a lockdown.
People in regions of Spain where Easter Monday is not a national holiday were allowed to leave their homes to go to work in a slight relaxation of a lockdown that has been in place since last month.
Prior to Monday, only people employed in positions considered essential have been allowed to work at their job sites. Many factory and construction workers can now resume their activities.
Spain’s Health Ministry on Monday recorded 3477 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 169,496 and offering more evidence the hard-hit country could be on the road to recovery. At its height, Spain saw more than 8000 new infections in a day.
Spain reported 517 new deaths, bringing the total to 17,489.
Despite the encouraging figures, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday in an address to the nation that the restrictions would only be loosened in a significant way “in two weeks at the earliest, and they will be incremental and careful.”
The Spanish parliament on Thursday approved an extension of the current state of emergency and accompanying lockdown until midnight on April 25, from which point rules may be gradually eased.
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