On Saturday, April 25, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced in a televised address that from Saturday, May 2, Spaniards will be allowed to exercise alone and people living in the same residence are permitted to go for short walks together as the country takes steps towards easing lockdown restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Further easing of the restrictions will occur throughout May and June as long as death rates from the virus continues to fall. The loosening of lockdown measures is anticipated to manifest itself differently in the various regions. Catalan Regional President Quim Torra has already set out his region's own separate "deconfinement" plan.
Much of the population remains under lockdown, although some initial steps towards the easing of the restrictions have begun. Children were allowed outside their homes for the first time in six weeks on Sunday, April 26, between the hours of 09:00 and 21:00 (local time) for up to one hour a day and must be accompanied by an adult they live with. Some manufacturing and construction sectors also resumed operations on Monday, April 13.
Under the lockdown restrictions that have been in place since Saturday, March 14, schools, bars, restaurants, and most shops remain closed. All social gatherings continue to be prohibited, and police officers have been deployed to enforce the orders. Residents are being ordered to restrict all movement except for going to work for essential employees, hospitals or health centers, financial institutions, and shopping for groceries, pharmaceuticals, and other primary necessities. Non-essential employees have been instructed to stay home as a precautionary measure.
Only Spanish citizens and residents are allowed to enter the country until at least Friday, May 15. Individuals exempt from the border restrictions include health workers and those transiting Spain to their country of residence in the EU/Schengen area. Land borders remain open for individuals who wish to leave the country.
As of April 26, 226,629 cases of COVID-19 and 23,190 associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the general risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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