Coronavirus: Spain loosens COVID-19 lockdown as number of cases keeps falling

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Some non-essential workers in Spain are returning to their jobs as lockdown restrictions are beginning to relax.

However, the wider lockdown will still be in place across the country.

It comes after the country reported its lowest daily growth in confirmed coronavirus infections in three weeks.

A police officer gives out free protective face masks at a metro station
Image: A police officer gives out free protective face masks at a metro station
People social distancing as they wait to enter a supermarket in Madrid
Image: Spain will keep social distancing measures despite some other restrictions being lifted

Health officials said there were 517 new deaths recorded on Monday, falling from 619 on Sunday.

Overall cases in the country rose to 169,496 from 166,019.

In the UK, at least 10,612 people with coronavirus have already died, amid a warning by a member of the government’s scientific advice committee the UK could end up being the “worst affected country in Europe”.

RELATED NEWS:Spain tops Italy as country with most coronavirus infections

Spain’s total number of COVID-19 deaths is 17,489 and its number of confirmed cases puts it behind only the US.

More than 60,000 people have recovered from the disease.

Workers in industry and construction will be able to return to work after a two-week shutdown closed all sectors apart from healthcare and food.

Shops will remain closed, apart from supermarkets, fruit stands, bakeries, butchers, news-stands and pharmacies.

Those who can work from home will be asked to continue this.

These rules are expected to remain into May.

The race for the vaccine

The move will be watched closely by other countries, amid fears that lifting restrictions too soon could allow a second wave of the virus.

Those who do return to work should maintain social distancing, said Maria Jose Sierra, deputy head of health emergencies.

She added that “if there is a person who shows the slightest symptom, they should contact the health system and remain in self-isolation”.

Meanwhile, China reported 108 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 82,160.

The first cases of the virus were seen in China and, around five months after that, the worst-affected region of Wuhan lifted its final travel restrictions last week.

READ ALSO:Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll falls for second day in row

However, this has brought the problem of cases being brought in from abroad.

Light show as Wuhan opens up after being closed
Light show as Wuhan opens up after lockdown

Of the 108 cases confirmed on Monday, 98 were imported. And seven of the new domestic cases were recorded in a province bordering Russia.

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China still has social distancing rules, temperature checks and other measures while businesses reopen and people start to resume normal life.

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