Spain, including some of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus, is starting to relax tight lockout policies that have taken its economy to a near halt.
Workers in manufacturing, construction and certain services are being permitted to return to work, but must adhere to strict safety measures. The rest of the people have yet to live at home.
At Spanish metro stations today, police gave out millions of masks when some residents returned to work, while the larger coronavirus lockout remains in place.
A self-employed manual worker, Antonio Álvarez described it as a relief to be able to resume work on digging a swimming pool on a personal property close to the capital.
“I think the limitations have succeeded so well. It would have been catastrophic if they had not enforced them,” he said.
Around 17,500 people have died in Spain with Covid-19 but the number of new infections has dropped.
Spain’s health ministry said on Monday that the daily death rate had marginally decreased, with 517 reported in the previous 24 hours, compared to 619 reported on Sunday. The official death toll now gross is 17,489.
“We’re still a long way from success, from the moment we restore normality in our lives,” warned Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez over the weekend.
“We are ready to go out on the streets … but our determination to win the war is much stronger, and to avoid a relapse,” he said.
Italy-Europe’s hardest-hit region, with more than 20,000 deaths-would encourage a limited number of firms to restart operations on Tuesday.
This is advised that returning staff should not share tools, wear gloves and masks, keep 6 ft apart and maintain physical space on public transport.
Many shops are also closed, including hotels, nightclubs, cafes, and restaurants, and can remain so for weeks.
A couple of shops will be in Italy, despite continuing the broader lockout until May 3.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said bookshops, stationers, including shops that sell children’s clothes will reopen after Easter weekend from Tuesday.
Factories, though, will stay locked, squandering the expectations of business leaders who warned of economic disaster.