Spanish prime minister to seek two-week extension of state of emergency

A girl and her family look at the beach after her first communion, as temperatures hit 31 degrees Celsius, at Ondarreta's beach in San Sebastian, Spai. EPA-EFE/Javier Etxezarreta

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Spain’s prime minister has said he will ask parliament to agree to a last two-week extension of the state of emergency lockdown until 21st June, after which the government will no longer restrict citizens’ movements, newspaper El Pais reported.

Pedro Sanchez told regional government leaders during a video-conference meeting on Sunday that this would be the last lockdown as Spain’s infection rates have reduced dramatically.

The country’s death toll rose by four on Saturday to 27,125, the health ministry said, reflecting a dramatic decline in daily fatalities as Spain brings the outbreak under control.

El Pais also reported that parties and larger social gatherings have been blamed in Spain for spikes in infection that have caused regional problems for that country’s ongoing attempts to return to some level of normality.

In the western city of Badajoz, infections that are believed to have been picked up at a birthday party led to 18 people having to self-isolate, while there have been other small cases of inter-familiar infections at other social gatherings.

“An innocent party can end up with an outbreak,” said Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts.

“But some of the cases were not so innocent, and occurred after clear violations of the deescalation rules. This is why the Spanish authorities have been constantly calling on citizens not to drop their guard and to stick closely to the regulations of each phase. “If we are not all already in the new normality it’s for a reason.”

Read more via El Pais

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