Coronavirus: Spain makes face masks compulsory on public transport as country begins to ease strict lockdown

Prime minister announces new measures as Spanish adults allowed to exercise outdoors

Conrad Duncan
Saturday 02 May 2020 21:35 BST
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Coronavirus: Sanchez presents plan on de-escalating lockdown

Face masks will be compulsory on public transport in Spain from Monday as the country gradually eases its strict coronavirus lockdown.

Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish prime minister, said six million face coverings would be distributed in transportation hubs, another seven million by local authorities and a further 1.5 million via social institutions.

The announcement came as Spanish adults were allowed to exercise outdoors for the first time in seven weeks on Saturday, continuing a process of lifting restrictions which began with children under 14 being allowed out for walks last week.

“These are small comforts that are coming in doses, and may appear insufficient, but are important,” Mr Sanchez said, as he acknowledged that the return to a new normal after lockdown would be slow.

Spain has had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, with only adults being able to leave home to buy food, medicine and other essential goods, or to walk dogs close to home.

Mr Sanchez said it was important for citizens to not “let their guard down” following the end of the lockdown as the virus could easily re-emerge.

“I am convinced that over the coming months, until we have a vaccine, we are going to see more outbreaks [of the virus],” he said.

“What we need to guarantee is that these outbreaks do not put our national health system in danger.”

Spain has reported 25,100 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, with a daily increase of 276 deaths reported on Saturday.

Additional reporting by AP

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