To Consider:

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Athenian philosopher

Terrazas del Rodeo

Spain is declared state of emergency for up to 15 days, due to steep rise in coronavirus deaths. The state of emergency has been extended a sixth time until 21 June.

The state of emergency alows the government in Spain to take wide-ranging measures, including:

  • Limiting the movement of people or vehicles
  • Ordering evacuations
  • Prohibiting access to certain areas or places
  • Intervening in areas of industry and farming

Please, read more at: elpais.com - Spanish government declares state of alarm

Update - 14 March 2020

The Spanish Cabinet on Saturday decided to prohibit all journeys in Spain that are not due to “force majeure,” but will allow trips so that people can get to work and purchase food.

Seville City Hall announced on Saturday that it would be canceling its world-famous Easter processions.

(english.elpais.com - Cabinet bans all journeys in Spain apart from to get to work or buy food)

Playa cerrada

The municipalities of Marbella, Mijas and Estepona have ordered the closure of all their beaches this Saturday morning to stop the expansion of the coronavirus. In Marbella the closing has been effective from ten in the morning on this Saturday and until further notice.

(www.diariosur.es - Marbella, Mijas y Estepona se suman al cierre de playas para frenar la expansión del coronavirus)

Jet2 planes heading to Spain have been turned around in mid-air as the airline cancelled all flights to the mainland, Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands because of coronavirus.

Flight tracking information shows at least five Jet2 planes travelling to Spain turned around to return to the UK.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Jet2 flights to Spain turn round in mid-air over virus fears)

Update - 15 March 2020

Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

(english.elpais.com - Wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tests positive for the coronavirus)

Rynair contacted its customers on Saturday offering to waive flight-change fees for passengers who have upcoming flights in areas that are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Airline easyJet announced via Twitter late on Saturday night that it would be flying a full schedule to Spain on March 15 and 16 “to help get people home,” but that it would have to cancel flights from March 17 onward.

(english.elpais.com - United Kingdom advises against all but essential travel to Spain in wake of coronavirus state of alarm)

One of the main measures that will be put into place is “fixed and mobile” police checkpoints on roads, in public areas and on public transport to “ensure” that the public complies with the complete lockdown that was put in place across the country by the Spanish Cabinet on Saturday night.

The checkpoints will be on a larger scale “in those places or during times that will specifically be affected by the restrictions.” The limitation of freedom of movement in the whole country is the measure that will have the greatest impact from the state of alarm.

Members of the public could be slapped with fines starting at €100 for disobeying the conditions of the state of alert, or could even face a year in prison should they “resist or seriously disobey the authorities or officers when they are carrying out their functions.” That’s according to a document that has been circulated among the security forces and that details the legal measures in force during the state of alarm.

(english.elpais.com - Members of the Spanish public face fines or even prison if they disobey lockdown rules)

Update - 16 March 2020

. . . the premier of Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced that she had also tested positive for the coronavirus. The Popular Party (PP) politician is the latest high-profile figure to be confirmed to have been infected, after the deputy premier of the Catalan regional government, Pere Aragonès, Equality Minister Irene Montero and even the Spanish prime minister’s wife, Begoña Gómez, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Later on Monday, Catalan regional premier Quim Torra also confirmed that he was infected with the virus.

(english.elpais.com - Spain records second-highest daily rise in coronavirus infections in the world)

Mercadona, with the objective of protecting the health and safety of our customers and employees as well as ensuring the supply of our stores, is adopting the restrictions.

(mercadona.es - Mercadona is adopting the following measures, which will enter into force as of tomorrow, Monday 16th March 2020)

Spain is closing its borders in a bid to deal with the coronavirus crisis. From midnight tonight, only Spanish citizens and residents will be able to enter the country via land borders, as well as non-Spaniards who cite reasons of force majeure. Freight will still be able to enter the country in order to guarantee the supply of goods.

(english.elpais.com - Spain closes its borders to contain spread of coronavirus)

France will close its land borders from midday (11:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when the EU's external borders and the Shenghen borderless zone will also be shut.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Germany and France announce strict measures)

On Wednesday, the government advised those over 70 and anyone with chronic health conditions to keep their movements in public to a minimum. It also began to send COVID-19 statistics every afternoon by text message to all mobile phone users in Gibraltar.

- - -

On Thursday bars, restaurants and nightclubs were also told that they had to close by 8pm, but this proved ineffective and two days later it was announced that all catering establishments were to close altogether, with the exception of the airport and hotels. However, hotels are only permitted to cater for people who are staying there.

Many of Gibraltar’s tourist attractions are closed now, and all visits from cruise ships have been stopped.

One measure which was introduced early was to ban those aged 60+ from using the local bus service, in order to protect the elderly who are at risk from the illness. This is about to change. With effect from Monday 16 March, only schoolchildren may use the bus services, which have already been scaled down. An adult accompanying a schoolchild may also use the bus service, but only if they are under the age of 60.

- - -

We should entirely avoid travelling to Spain for any reason if it is not essential, . . .

From midnight on Sunday there was a complete ban on all military personnel resident in Gibraltar from travelling to Spain, issued by the Commander British Forces Gibraltar.

At present, all schools in Gibraltar remain open.

(www.surinenglish.com - Gibraltar government advises residents not to travel to Spain)

Update - 17 March 2020

The European Union will ban travellers from outside from the bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK citizens will be unaffected.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: European Union seals borders to most outsiders)

Update - 18 March 2020

'The Spanish government have confirmed that all hotels will close in Spain from Tuesday 24 March,' the FCO said in a statement. 

'We therefore advise British travellers in Spain to contact their tour operator or airline as soon as possible, to arrange their return journey home before this date.'  

(www.dailymail.co.uk - Spain will close ALL hotels by Tuesday: British tourists are told to leave NOW as the country's coronavirus death toll reaches 598)

Update - 20 March 2020

The situation in Gibraltar is constantly changing, with new measures continually being introduced according to Public Health advice. Restrictions on movement have now been imposed on people aged over 70, for their own protection. Some shops and businesses are closed.

(www.surinenglish.com - Gibraltar increases preventive measures and steps up preparations for new cases)

Update - 21 March 2020

The Madrid regional government and the Health Ministry on Friday said that a field hospital with 5,500 beds is being created inside Ifema, the city’s trade fair and exhibition facility, with support from the Military Emergency Unit (UME). Authorities have also erected an emergency shelter for homeless people at Ifema.

Two hotels, the Ayre Gran Hotel Colón and the Marriot Auditorium, have already been converted into emergency wards for people with mild symptoms. Over 40 hotels in Madrid have offered their facilities, with room for nearly 9,000 people, according to the Madrid Hotel Industry Association.

Field hospitals are also being erected elsewhere in Spain, even in areas without a significant amount of reported cases such as the Valencia region, in preparation for what could come.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish doctors prepare to make difficult decisions if intensive care units reach capacity)

Update - 22 March 2020

The Spanish government wants to extend the state of alarm, declared on March 14 in a bid to slow the coronavirus outbreak, for another 15 days. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez informed regional leaders of the decision during a teleconference on Sunday. The exceptional measure was approved by the Spanish Cabinet on March 14 and came into effect the following day. It was set to last until March 29.

Sánchez needs the approval of Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies, to extend the state of alarm. If approved, the lockdown will continue until April 12, meaning that Spaniards will be confined to their homes during the Easter vacation break.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish government to extend state of alarm for 15 days)

Germany has expanded curbs on social interactions to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, banning public gatherings of more than two people.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Germany tightens curbs and bans meetings of more than two)

Update - 23 March 2020

The Spanish government has extended the travel restrictions already in place at Spain’s borders in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Six days ago, the authorities closed the country’s land borders to everyone apart from residents and goods vehicles. Now the restrictions have been applied to Spain’s airports and seaports, and will be in place for the next 30 days.

Only Spaniards or residents of Spain, residents of the European Union and countries associated with the Schengen Area who can prove that they are returning to the place of residence will be permitted entry at these transport hubs.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish airports and ports also closed in bid to slow spread of coronavirus)

From this evening people [in UK] must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

Shops selling non-essential goods are being told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together are to be prohibited.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Strict new curbs on life in UK announced by PM)

Update - 24 March 2020

The coronavirus death toll in Spain has jumped by 514 in a single day, as the situation in the country quickly worsens.

Official figures show that 2,696 people have now died in the country and close to 40,000 are infected.

About 5,400 health care workers are among those confirmed cases.

(www.bbc.com - Spain's coronavirus death toll jumps 514 in 24 hours)

Spanish soldiers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic have found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds, the defence ministry has said.

Spanish prosecutors said an investigation had been launched.

The military has been brought in to help disinfect care homes in Spain, one of Europe's worst hit countries.

Meanwhile, an ice rink in Madrid is to be used as a temporary mortuary for Covid-19 victims, officials said.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Spanish army finds care home residents 'dead and abandoned')

Update - 25 March 2020

Since the Spanish Cabinet implemented a state of alarm 10 days ago, essentially confining residents of the country to their homes in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there have been 926 arrests and 102,000 police reports filed for disobedience. 

(english.elpais.com - Spanish authorities arrest 926 people for breaking rules of lockdown)

Update - 26 March 2020

The state of alarm in Spain, which has confined the population to their homes since March 15 in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, will continue until April 12. This was confirmed last night by the Congress of Deputies

(english.elpais.com - Spanish PM secures congressional support to extend state of alarm)

Update - 27 March 2020

[UK prime minister] Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus.

The prime minister has mild symptoms and will self-isolate in Downing Street, but will continue to take charge of the government’s handling of the crisis.

(www.theguardian.com - UK prime minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus)

The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests.

But with almost 1,300 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,291) and Italy (8,215).

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: US overtakes China with most cases)

China has announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors, even if they have visas or residence permits.

The country is also limiting Chinese and foreign airlines to one flight per week, and flights must not be more than 75% full.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus travel: China bars foreign visitors as imported cases rise)

. . . Gibraltar's chief minister, Fabian Picardo, announced on Sunday afternoon that a "total social lockdown" would begin from 12.01am on Tuesday [31 March], because of the coronavirus crisis. There were only a small number of active cases in Gibraltar at the time, but the advice from the public health authorities was that a spike could be expected and that action would need to be taken to isolate people as much as possible.

The terms of the lockdown are not as severe as those in neighbouring Spain, but are considered enough to protect the local population under the current circumstances. The lockdown is initally for 30 days, but is being reviewed every 48 hours.

The only shops allowed to open are those that sell food and pharmacies. Residents are allowed to go for a run or a walk, or to exercise children, but must go alone. Everyone is asked to work from home if they can, although where this is not possible offices are permitted to continue to operate.

- - -

The government has also announced a series of financial measures to protect employers, the self-employed, full-time and part-time workers, including those on zero-hour contracts. Employees will receive a basic income every month, and termination of employment has been banned . . .

(www.surinenglish.com - Gibraltar under social lockdown to control the coronavirus crisis)

Update - 28 March 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus in Spain had reached 5,694 by Saturday morning, while the official number of infections surged to 72,248, according to official figures provided by the government. The country has set a grim new record with 832 fatalities in 24 hours, up from 769 the previous day. Officials said that 12,285 infected people have recovered.

While Spain already has the second highest death toll in the world after Italy, a new report by the Carlos III public health institute that EL PAÍS has seen suggests that the real number of coronavirus deaths could be much higher.

Despite significant restrictions on the movement of people in place since March 14, cases continue to climb as hospitals struggle to cope with an influx of patients while demand grows for more ventilators for critical cases and protective gear for workers.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus death toll in Spain reaches 5,694 but real figure could be higher)

The city in China where the coronavirus pandemic began, Wuhan, has partially re-opened after more than two months of isolation.

- - -

People are being allowed to enter but not leave, according to reports.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, saw more than 50,000 coronavirus cases. At least 3,000 people in Hubei died from the disease.

- - -

As it battles to control cases coming from abroad, China has announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors, even if they have visas or residence permits. It is also limiting Chinese and foreign airlines to one flight per week, and flights must not be more than 75% full.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus cradle Wuhan partly reopens after lockdown)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Saturday the total lockdown of all 47 million Spaniards apart from those who are working in essential sectors, in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus and to reduce the congestion of the country’s intensive care units (ICUs). At an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Sunday, ministers will approve the confinement of non-essential workers to their homes for the next two weeks, from Monday March 30, until Thursday April 9, inclusive.

The aim is to see the number of people on the streets of Spain fall to levels usually seen at the weekend, thus slowing further contagion.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish government tightens lockdown to include all non-essential workers)

Update - 29 March 2020

According to official figures released on Sunday by the Spanish Health Ministry, a total of 6,528 people in the country have now died from the coronavirus, with 838 new deaths in the last 24 hours. Registered infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus now stand at 78,797, with 4,907 people in intensive care units (ICUs) across Spain. Some 14,709 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 disease and have been released from hospital care. The majority of deaths during the ongoing crisis (5,000) have taken place over the last seven days.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus deaths continue to rise in Spain, with new record 838 in 24 hours)

Update - 30 March 2020

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Saturday the halt of all non-essential activities starting today, Monday March 30, until Thursday April 9, both inclusive. April 10 is a national holiday in Spain for Easter Friday.

The measure, which was approved on Sunday at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting, is aimed at limiting as much as possible the circulation of persons and thus flattening the curve of infections.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s new lockdown restrictions: The measures for non-essential workers)

Official figures released on Monday by the Spanish Health Ministry showed that there were 812 deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a slight fall from the previous day which saw a new record of 838. The total number of deaths in Spain since the health crisis began has now reached 7,340.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus death toll falls slightly in Spain but total infections now exceed China’s)

Update - 31 March 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that a total of 849 people had died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, setting a new record for the number of fatalities in a day.

The total number of coronavirus deaths in Spain now stands at 8,189. Registered infections have risen to 94,417 cases after new cases had slowed over the last five days. A total of 5,607 patients have required intensive care treatment, while 19,259 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 disease and have been discharged from hospital. 

By Monday, confirmed cases had reached 85,195, putting Spain ahead of China in terms of total infections since the crisis began.

(english.elpais.com - After small reprieve, daily coronavirus deaths spike in Spain again)

Evictions placed on hold, interest-free microcredits for tenants and financial aid for temporary workers are among the government’s new initiatives

(english.elpais.com - Spanish Cabinet rolls out new measures to cushion economic blow of coronavirus crisis)

Update - 1 April 2020

Official figures supplied by the Health Ministry on Wednesday put the total number of coronavirus infections in the country at more than 100,000, with 864 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours – the highest figure since the beginning of the outbreak.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus cases in Spain now exceed 100,000 with more than 9,000 total deaths)

Around 36 residents associations have called on the government to close down tourist apartments during the coronavirus crisis, on the basis that they believe them to be “a source of expansion of the Covid-19 health risk during the state of alarm.” The federations and associations are calling for access to platforms such as Niumba, Airbnb and Booking to be blocked while the confinement measures are in place.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus cases in Spain now exceed 100,000 with more than 9,000 total deaths)

The Spanish government said on Tuesday that when the state of alarm decreed to fight the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end, authorities will gradually ease the confinement measures that are keeping people at home and holding back economic activity.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s emergency coronavirus measures to be lifted gradually)

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the official advice from the World Health Organization has been clear. Only two types of people should wear masks: those who are sick and show symptoms, and those who are caring for people who are suspected to have the coronavirus.

Nobody else needs to wear a mask, and there are several reasons for that.

One is that a mask is not seen as reliable protection, given that current research shows the virus is spread by droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. So it could protect you, but only in certain situations such as when you're in close quarters with others where someone infected might sneeze or cough near your face. This is why experts say frequent hand washing with soap and water is far more effective.

Removing a mask requires special attention to avoid hand contamination, and it could also breed a false sense of security.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Why some countries wear face masks and others don't)

Update - 2 April 2020

Spain set another new grim record today, with 950 coronavirus deaths in the space of just a day. The total fatalities across the country now stand at 10,003. In the same time period, 8,102 infections were confirmed, taking the total to 110,238.

(english.elpais.com - Spain sees new grim record of daily coronavirus deaths, with 950 victims in just 24 hours)

Jobless claims surged by 302,000 people and social security affiliations slumped by over 800,000.

- - -

Jobless claims surged by 302,000 people in March, the highest increase on record, according to the Labor and Social Security Ministry. This figure easily overtakes the previous record of January 2009, when the number of people claiming unemployment benefits grew by 200,000 . . .

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus crisis brings worst March on record for Spain’s labor market)

Update - 3 April 2020

Official figures released on Friday by the Spanish Health Ministry showed that there were 932 deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the first fall in fatalities recorded this week. On Thursday, the total daily deaths came in at 950, with an increase of 8,102 new cases on the day before. The total number of coronavirus deaths in Spain since the health crisis began has now reached 10,935.

The ministry also stated on Friday that 7,472 new infections had been registered in the last day, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Spain to 117,710. This figure is now above that of Italy, by around 2,000.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths fall slightly in Spain but total infections exceed Italy’s)

Update - 4 April 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry announced on Saturday that a total of 809 people in the country had died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a significant drop on the 932 fatalities recorded on Friday, and the lowest number of daily deaths seen in seven days.

The total number of coronavirus deaths in Spain now stands at 11,744. Registered infections have risen by 7,027 to 124,736.

(english.elpais.com - Spain sees sharp drop in daily coronavirus deaths)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will contact opposition parties on Saturday to ask them to support a possible extension of the state of alarm, which was declared three weeks ago in a bid to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

The exceptional measure was approved by the Spanish Cabinet on March 14 and came into effect the following day. It was set to last until March 29 but was extended by Congress for another 15 days until April 11. If extended again, Spain will remain under lockdown until April 26.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish government prepares to extend state of alarm)

Update - 5 April 2020

The downward trend of daily deaths from the coronavirus continued on Sunday, with the latest number falling to 674, according to official figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This marks a fall of 135 compared to Saturday, which saw 809. Sunday’s figure is the lowest seen since March 27 (769). The highest figure so far was reported on April 2, with 950 fatalities from Covid-19 in a 24-hour period.

The total number of deaths in Spain from the coronavirus now stands at 12,418, with 130,759 confirmed infections, a rise of 6,023 in the last 24 hours. New infections grew just 5% in the last day, however, which is the lowest rise since the health crisis began. A total of 30,080 patients have recovered from the disease and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths continue downward trend in Spain, with 674 in the last 24 hours)

Update - 6 April 2020

There were 637 coronavirus deaths in the last day in Spain, according to figures released on Monday by the Spanish Health Ministry. That’s the lowest daily death toll the country has seen since March 24. . .

The total number of deaths in Spain since the coronavirus outbreak began is now 13,055, according to the Health Ministry. There have been more than 135,000 registered infections, with 60,000 people hospitalized. Nearly 7,000 people have been admitted to intensive care units so far. A total of 40,000 people have recovered from Covid-19 and have been discharged from hospital.

- - -

Arancha González Laya, Spain’s minister for foreign affairs, said on Monday that a number of companies are working on the manufacture of protective masks. The government has said in recent days that it is likely that members of the public in Spain will have to wear such masks when they are out of their homes once confinement measures are relaxed. For now, however, most residents of Spain have been unable to purchase such items given the high demand. According to the minister, “given that citizens are in their homes,” priority is being given to health workers in terms of the supply of masks. “When citizens begin to leave confinement, these masks will be available from the public and private sectors,” she said, adding that national production would be complemented with imports.

González Laya also said on Monday that there are still around 3,000 Spanish tourists who are trying to return to Spain given the air travel restrictions that have been put into place since the coronavirus outbreak. Speaking on TV channel Antena 3, she said that nearly 21,000 Spaniards have already been repatriated, adding that this week would see new flights from Italy and Dublin, from where Spanish minors studying abroad are being sent home.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 637, the lowest figure since March 24)

Last week, the tiny hilltop village of Nerola in Italy, was suddenly declared a red zone, after a dozens of coronavirus cases were discovered.

It’s been sealed off by the army, and everyone who lives there put into quarantine. Now medical researchers are testing the entire population, in the hope they learn more about the virus.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Quarantined Italian village turned into human laboratory)

Update - 7 April 2020

Spain recorded 743 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official figures released on Tuesday by the Health Ministry. This represents the first rise in daily deaths in four days.

The total number of deaths now stands at 13,798, with confirmed infections at 140,510, a rise of 5,478 in the last 24 hours. New infections grew by just 4% in the last day.

(english.elpais.com - After four-day fall, daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to 743)

China reported no coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the first time since it started publishing daily figures in January.

- - -

China is concerned a second wave of infections could be brought in by foreign arrivals.

It has already shut its border to foreigners including those with visas or residence permits.

International flights have been reduced with both Chinese and foreign airlines only allowed to operate one international flight a week. Flights must not be more than 75% full.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: China reports no Covid-19 deaths for first time)

Update - 8 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Spain was 757 on Wednesday, according to official figures released by the Health Ministry. This represents a small rise over Tuesday, which also saw a slight spike in overnight fatalities.

- - -

According to Wednesday’s figures, a total of 14,555 people have died from the Covid-19 disease since the beginning of the pandemic, out of 146,690 confirmed cases. The ministry also reported that 48,021 patients have recovered.

As one of the world’s hardest-hit countries, Spain has already surpassed Italy in terms of the number of deaths as a proportion of the population.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus fatalities rise for second day in a row in Spain, to 757)

Life in Spain will slowly begin to return to normal after the state of alarm, introduced three weeks ago to slow the coronavirus outbreak, comes to an end on April 26. That’s according to Finance Minister and government spokesperson María Jesús Montero.

Speaking on Spanish TV channel Antena 3 on Wednesday, Montero said that Spain would slowly return to “normal life” but in progressive stages, following the recommendations of health experts in order to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections.

“We can’t take anything for granted right now, only that the extension of the state of alarm will last until April 26,” she said. “From that moment on, the relaxation [of the confinement orders] will happen progressively so that citizens can begin, in an orderly fashion, to return to normal life, to the streets, to the public squares.” The minister added that the lifting of the lockdown rules must be well planned and organized “so that there are no [new] peaks and infections.”

(english.elpais.com - Spain will slowly return to “normal life” starting on April 26, says government)

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic originated, is finally lifting its 11-week quarantine as infections and deaths have tailed off.

As they emerge from their long lockdown, residents share the lessons they've learned from the outbreak, and offer encouraging words to the rest of the world.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: 'Please learn from Wuhan's mistakes')

Update - 9 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Spain was 683 on Thursday, according to official figures released by the Health Ministry. This represents a drop from Wednesday, when 757 people died over the course of 24 hours. The overall official death toll is now 15,238.

There was also a drop in the number of new infections. According to the Health Ministry, there were 6,180 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, compared to 6,180 on Wednesday. The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 152,446.

(english.elpais.com - Spain sees new drop in daily coronavirus deaths, but total exceeds 15,000)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed Congress on Thursday morning to seek approval for his decision to extend the state of alarm until April 26.

- - -

The extension is expected to secure an easy approval thanks to support from the main opposition Popular Party (PP), Ciudadanos and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). Only the far-right Vox and separatist parties from Catalonia and the Basque Country are planning to vote against, for different reasons.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish PM asks Congress to back state of alarm extension to ‘consolidate’ gains against coronavirus)

(www.facebook.com - Policia Local Marbella)

Update - 10 April 2020

Spain saw 605 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official figures from the Health Ministry. The figure marks the lowest daily number of fatalities since March 24

- - -

According to Friday’s figures, Spain has now registered a total of 15,843 Covid-19 deaths since the outbreak began in the country.

Total confirmed infections now stand at 157,022, with an extra 4,576 in the last 24 hours. This puts the growth rate in Spain compared to the total as 3% for the last day, which is the lowest rise since the official data started to be collected by the Health Ministry nearly a month ago.

The number of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and have been discharged from hospital now stands at 55,668, which is 35% of total registered cases.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 605, the lowest figure since March 24)

Images have emerged of coffins being buried in a mass grave in New York City, as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise.

Workers in hazmat outfits were seen using a ladder to descend into a huge pit where the coffins were stacked.

The location is Hart Island, used for New Yorkers with no next of kin or who could not afford a funeral.

New York state now has more coronavirus cases than any single country, according to latest figures.

The state's confirmed caseload of Covid-19 jumped by 10,000 on Thursday to 159,937, of whom 7,000 have died.

Spain has had 153,000 cases and Italy 143,000, while China, where the virus emerged last year, has reported 82,000 cases.

The US as a whole has recorded 462,000 cases and nearly 16,500 deaths. Globally there are 1.6 million cases and 95,000 deaths.

The number of coronavirus deaths in New York state increased to 799 on Wednesday, a record high for a third day.

But Governor Andrew Cuomo took heart from the fact that the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to New York hospitals dropped for a second day, to 200.

He said it was a sign social distancing was working. . .

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: New York using mass graves amid outbreak)

Locals in northeastern Germany can still head for the beach and soak up the spring sunshine, thanks to a court ruling.

Despite the general lockdown, a court in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania says locals can go to the Baltic coast for Easter.

The regional government lost the argument. One lawyer said it was illogical to coop people up in a town when the beach was wide open and empty of tourists.

The number of new cases reported in Germany has risen four days in a row, reaching 113,525, the respected Robert Koch Institute says. The death toll stands at 2,373.

In another development Germany is easing its restrictions exceptionally for foreign farm labourers, as it needs people to pick fruit and vegetables. Up to 80,000 will be allowed in, under strict controls to prevent Covid-19 spreading.

(www.bbc.com - Germans can still head to the Baltic coast, court rules)

There are more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in 185 countries and at least 96,000 people have died.

More than half of all the confirmed cases have been in Europe, with Spain and Italy worst affected. However, the United States now has more than twice as many confirmed cases as any other single country.

(www.bbc.com - Tracking the global outbreak)

Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus stood at 619 on Sunday, according to figures released by the Health Ministry. This represents a rise from the 510 deaths recorded on Saturday, which was the lowest number of overnight deaths since March 23, when there were 462 fatalities.

Update - 11 April 2020

Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus stood at 510 on Saturday morning, according to figures released by the Health Ministry,

This is the lowest number of overnight deaths since March 23, and it confirms a downward trend following the April 2 peak of 950 reported fatalities.

A total of 16,353 people have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and there are 161,852 confirmed cases. Spanish health officials also reported that nearly 60.000 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

It is widely believed that the real figures are higher, as only people who have been tested for the coronavirus are being included in the official tally. This leaves out individuals with symptoms who die in their homes or at senior residences without ever getting tested.

(english.elpais.com - New drop in overnight coronavirus deaths confirms downward trend in Spain)

Update - 12 April 2020

Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus stood at 619 on Sunday, according to figures released by the Health Ministry. This represents a rise from the 510 deaths recorded on Saturday, which was the lowest number of overnight deaths since March 23, when there were 462 fatalities.

- - -

Although the number of daily deaths has risen, the number of new infections has fallen. Total confirmed infections now stand at 166,019, with an extra 4,167 in the last 24 hours – which represents a drop of 663 on Saturday’s figures.

Spanish health officials also reported that a total of 62,391 people have recovered and have been discharged from hospital since the beginning of the outbreak, a day-on-day rise of 3,282.

(english.elpais.com - Spain sees new rise in daily coronavirus deaths, as total nears 17,000)

This coming Monday will mark a return to regular activity for some non-essential businesses that were placed in a temporary period of “hibernation” on March 30. This includes companies from the industrial and construction sectors that were forced to close for two weeks as the government ramped up existing confinement measures in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus. For companies located in regions that observe Easter Monday, the return will be pushed to Tuesday.

The government’s decision to ease the restrictions on non-essential business was made despite concerns from its Covid-19 expert committee, which believes it is too soon to lift the measure. In a bid to ensure the change does not lead to a rise in coronavirus cases, the Spanish government has published a guide for workers and businesses with recommendations on how to reduce the risk of contagion.

The guide, published on Saturday by the Health Ministry, aims to provide workers with clear guidelines on how to act when they leave their homes. These recommendations apply to workers in the industrial and construction sector, as well as other industries where working remotely is not possible. Public-facing businesses like shops, entertainment centers and restaurants (except those which deliver) will remain closed. The guide also applies to essential activities, like food distribution and the production of health resources, which were not suspended during the state of alarm or temporary “hibernation” period.

(english.elpais.com - Wash clothes in hot water and stay two meters apart: Spain’s guide for returning workers)

Update - 13 April 2020

Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus stood at 517 on Monday morning, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.

- - -

There has been a total of 17,489 Covid-19-related deaths in Spain since the epidemic began, and there have been 169,496 confirmed cases. Spanish health officials also reported that 64,727 people have recovered from the disease and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 517)

Update - 14 April 2020

The official number of fatalities in Spain related to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours was 567 on Tuesday, a slight rise on yesterday’s figure.

- - -

New infections came in at 3,045 on Tuesday, which is a 1.8% rise on the total. This is the lowest contagion rate seen so far in Spain during the coronavirus crisis.

According to the Health Ministry, there have been a total of 18,065 Covid-19-related deaths in Spain since the epidemic began, with 172,541 registered infections and 67,504 patients who have recovered and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise once more, to 567)

Spain’s unemployment offices are struggling to deal with a flood of jobless claims tied to a temporary layoff scheme meant to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis.

Around three million workers have requested unemployment assistance after companies filed 450,000 ERTEs (or expediente de regulación temporal de empleo, as the temporary layoff plan is called in Spanish). Under the scheme, employers can send workers home without pay for a certain amount of time, but must take them back once this period ends. Workers can claim unemployment during this time, and companies can also put staff on a reduced schedule.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s public employment services swamped by millions of coronavirus-related jobless claims)

Update - 15 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus fatalities registered by the Spanish Health Ministry came in at 523 on Wednesday, slightly down from the day before.

According to the latest figures, new infections rose in the last 24 hours by 3% of the total, to reach 177,633 since the outbreak began in Spain – a slight rise in the contagion rate. New infections came in at 3,045 on Tuesday, which was a 1.8% rise on the total and the lowest rate seen so far in Spain during the coronavirus crisis.

The rise in new infections detected may also be due to an effect that the experts have been awaiting: the increase in testing being carried out in Spain. In the last two weeks, the Health Ministry has distributed two million rapid tests among the country’s regions, in order to speed up the detection of cases.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 523, with slight rise in rate of new infections)

The Spanish Education Ministry on Wednesday reached an agreement with regional governments to grant a passing grade to all students in early education, primary, secondary and the first year of pre-university studies.

Spanish children have been confined to their homes for a month due to the coronavirus pandemic, and schools have been scrambling to roll out virtual teaching tools and online classes with varying degrees of success. Not all schools have the same resources, and educators have expressed concern that students in families with no access to technology could be left behind.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish students to get a passing grade due to coronavirus confinement)

Update - 16 April 2020

Spain saw 551 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, according to figures supplied on Thursday morning by the Spanish Health Ministry. This was a slight increase on yesterday’s figure, which came in at 523.

So far during the coronavirus epidemic in Spain, there have been a total of 19,130 official fatalities due to the Covid-19 disease, with 182,816 confirmed infections and nearly 75,000 patients who have recovered and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus death rate in Spain rises slightly once more, to 523)

A third of the sailors on France's aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle - 668 out of nearly 2,000 - are infected with coronavirus, the navy says.

The ship returned to the French port of Toulon early from Atlantic exercises. Twenty sailors are in hospital, one of them in intensive care.

The figure for those infected is likely to rise, as 30% of the test results are not yet in. The navy is investigating how so many sailors caught the virus.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: 668 infected on French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle)

As Covid-19 continues to spread across the US, President Donald Trump has given governors guidance on re-opening state economies in the coming months.

- - -

The administration's 18-page guidance document details three phases to reopen state economies, with each phase lasting, at minimum, 14 days. The guidelines in full can be seen here.

They include some recommendations across all three phases including good personal hygiene and employers developing policies to enforce social distancing, testing and contact tracing.

Phase one includes much of the current lockdown measures such as avoiding non-essential travel and not gathering in groups. But it says large venues such as restaurants, places of worship and sports venues "can operate under strict physical distancing protocols".

If there is no evidence of a resurgence of the coronavirus, phase two allows non-essential travel to resume. The guidance says schools can re-open and bars can operate "with diminished standing-room occupancy".

Under phase three, states which are still seeing a downward trend of symptoms and cases can allow "public interactions" with physical distancing and the unrestricted staffing of worksites. Visits to care homes and hospitals can resume and bars can increase their standing room capacity.

Some regions could begin returning to normal after a month-long evaluation period, at the earliest, according to the document.

In places where there are more infections or where rates begin to rise, it could take longer.

The co-ordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr Deborah Birx, told Thursday's briefing that as states worked through the three phases, they could allow for more and more employees to return to work in increments.

Phase three would be the "new normal" and would still include suggestions that vulnerable people should avoid crowded spaces.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Trump unveils plan to re-open states in phases)

US State Department cables show that embassy officials were worried about biosecurity at a virus lab in Wuhan, China. The lab is in the same city where the coronavirus outbreak first came to the world's attention.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Is there any evidence for lab release theory?)

Update - 17 April 2020

Spain saw 585 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, according to figures supplied on Friday morning by the Spanish Health Ministry. This was a slight rise on yesterday’s figure, which came in at 551.

So far during the coronavirus epidemic in Spain, there have been a total of 19,478 official fatalities due to the Covid-19 disease, with 188,068 confirmed infections and 74,797 patients who have recovered and have been discharged from hospital.

- - -

According to the Health Ministry, there were 5,252 new infections in the past 24 hours, a rise of 2.8% of the total, something that Simón attributed to increased testing. On Thursday, Health Minister Salvador Illa announced that Spain had carried out between 40,000 and 47,000 PCR tests every day over the past three weeks – more than double the earlier figure of 20,000 daily tests. Since the beginning of the crisis, there have been a total of 930,230 tests, according to the health minister.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish Health Ministry calculates a new rise in daily coronavirus fatalities, with 585 registered deaths)

With no effective treatment against the coronavirus available and a vaccine unlikely to be ready for at least a year, a lot of hope has been placed on the idea that the rise in temperatures over summer will stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Fernando Belda, a spokesperson from Spain’s AEMET weather agency, is optimistic about the chances. His team has just found the “first signs of correlation” between cold weather and the spread of the coronavirus in Spain. “We are seeing a pattern, the lower the temperature, the greater the effect,” he explains. But past epidemics and the coronavirus situation in other countries indicate that summer will not be enough to stop the pandemic.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s summer weather will not be enough to defeat the coronavirus, say experts)

Update - 18 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Spain came in at 565 on Saturday, a slight fall from Friday when 585 victims were reported for the previous 24-hour period.

According to figures released by the Health Ministry, a total of 20,043 Covid-19-related deaths have been recorded in Spain, with 192,920 confirmed infections, up 4,449 on Friday. Yesterday’s rise in confirmed infections was slightly higher, at 5,252. A total of 74,662 coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospital after recovering. . .

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 565, taking official total over 20,000)

The UK has placed antibody tests - which check if someone has had Covid-19 - at the centre of an eventual "back-to-work" plan to restart normal life.

But experts said they may not prove if someone is protected from reinfection.

The UK's testing co-ordinator has also warned people not to buy private tests.

The government has already paid for three-and-a-half million antibody tests, but has not yet found one that is reliable enough to use - and stresses that it will not approve the use of any test until it can be sure its findings can be fully depended on.

Professor John Newton said the public should not purchase unapproved antibody tests until a working test is approved.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Double warning over antibody tests)

A new study in California has found the number of people infected with coronavirus may be tens of times higher than previously thought.

The study from Stanford University, which was released Friday and has yet to be peer reviewed, tested samples from 3,330 people in Santa Clara county and found the virus was 50 to 85 times more common than official figures indicated.

To ease the sprawling lockdowns currently in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, health officials must first determine how many people have been infected. Large studies of the prevalence of the virus within a region could play a key role, researchers say.

(www.theguardian.com - Antibody study suggests coronavirus is far more widespread than previously thought)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made a televised address on Saturday evening to announce his latest measures during the coronavirus crisis . . .

Among the changes to the current conditions announced by the prime minister today were opportunities for children to leave the home under controlled circumstances from April 27. He also said that he would seek approval in Congress to extend the current state of alarm – which was first implemented on March 14 – to May 9, and that from May 11, there would be a “cautious and progressive” deescalation of confinement measures.

- - -

Sánchez went on to cite six steps recommended from the World Health Organization for the return to normality: a controlled transition and the identification of people who are infected with the coronavirus; testing for people who are thought to be infected and the identification of their contacts; strict controls for areas with a higher risk of infection (hospitals and senior residences, for example); preventive measures in the workplace and schools and universities; and full information for the public, who must follow hygiene rules and observe social distancing.

Sánchez warned that right now, it is not be possible to lift the confinement measures and begin the deescalation phase, and as such the government would seek to extend the state of alarm – which grants the government special powers – until May 9.

- - -

From May 11, Sánchez said, there will be a “cautious and progressive” deescalation of the confinement. “To do this, we will be guided by a series of markers that will warn us of the level of the spread of the virus and of the robustness of our health system so that we know the rate of progress of the pandemic in each region.” According to these parameters, he added, the deescalation measures will progress and if risks are identified they will be halted.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish PM to seek extension to state of alarm, will allow children to leave the home from April 27)

British Airways is still running flights into Gibraltar from UK but the government is warning British travellers not to try to enter Spain across the land border from Gibraltar unless they are legally resident and have documentation to prove it.

Only Spanish citizens or people who are legally resident are permitted to enter the country, and the Spanish authorities are also forbidding entry to visit a holiday home which is not a person's habitual residence.

The advice also says that people crossing into Gibraltar from Spain to take a flight must present evidence of a confirmed flight booking, together with valid travel documents, to both the Spanish and Gibraltarian immigration officers. They must also go immediately to the airport terminal.

(www.surinenglish.com - Advice for travellers to and from Gibraltar)

Update - 19 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain fell to 410 on Sunday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry.

- - -

. . . the data should be viewed with some caution, given that there has been regular underreporting of coronavirus statistics from Spain’s 17 regions at weekends and on public holidays.

There have been a total of 20,453 Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections reaching 195,944. Some 77,357 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 410, the lowest figure seen in a month)

Update - 20 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain fell to 399 on Monday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. That is the lowest figure seen since March 22, when there were 394.

- - -

However, the data should be viewed with some caution, given that there has been regular underreporting of coronavirus statistics from Spain’s 17 regions at weekends and on public holidays.

There have been a total of 20,852 Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections reaching now 200,210. More than 80,000 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 399, while confirmed cases now exceed 200,000)

(www.facebook.com - Policia Local Marbella)

Update - 21 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 430 on Tuesday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This is a slight rise from yesterday’s figure of 399, which was the lowest Spain had seen since March 22, when there were 394 daily fatalities.

It should be noted that figures from around Spain have tended to be underreported around weekends and national holidays. As such, in recent weeks an uptick in the data has been expected on Tuesdays. However, the rise seen today was smaller than the Spanish health authorities were expecting.

- - -

There have been a total of 21,282 official Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections now reaching 204,178. Some 82,514 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise slightly to 430, but usual post-weekend increase is smaller than expected)

Update - 22 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 435 on Wednesday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This is a slight rise from yesterday’s figure of 430.

There has also been a slight rise in the number of new cases. In the past 24 hours, there were 4,211 registered infections, compared to 3,968 on Tuesday.

- - -

There have been a total of 21,717 official Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections now reaching 208,389. Some 85,915 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus deaths in Spain stabilize: 435 in the past 24 hours)

It's hay fever season in some parts of the world, and its symptoms can be very similar to that of coronavirus - so similar, in fact, that the UK's Royal College of General Practitioners is warning people not to mix them up.

It says it's concerned people may leave their houses thinking they've just got the seasonal illness, when actually they have contracted a deadly virus and should stay at home.

(www.bbc.com - Do I have hay fever or coronavirus?)

Update - 23 April 2020

As expected, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday secured the support he needed in the Congress of Deputies to extend the state of alarm implemented on March 14 in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The special measures will remain in place until May 9, according to the vote in Spain’s lower house of parliament.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish PM secures support to extend state of alarm after fierce criticism in Congress)

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 440 on Thursday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This is a slight rise from yesterday’s figure of 435.

There has also been a small increase in the number of new cases. In the past 24 hours, there were 4,635 registered infections, compared to 4,211 on Wednesday.

- - -

There have been a total of 22,157 official Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections now reaching 213,024. Some 89,000 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital. This represents around 42% of all cases.

- - -

The total number of healthcare workers who have contracted the virus, however, has risen to 34,355, or 16% of total infections.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain remain stable: 440 in the last 24 hours)

From Sunday, children aged 14 and under will be able to go outside once a day between 9am and 9pm within a one-kilometer radius of their homes, accompanied by an adult.

- - -

Under the new rules, an adult will be able to go out onto the street with as many as three children. What’s more, the children will be allowed to run and not just walk.

Iglesias explained that “[children] will be able to run, jump, play sport, respecting physical distancing conditions [...]. They will also be able to go out with toys, a ball or a scooter but they cannot go to play areas in parks.” He said that children living in rural areas will be able to “go for a walk in the woods or the countryside respecting the security measures.” The prime minister added that youngsters experiencing coronavirus symptoms should remain at home.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish government confirms details of relaxation of coronavirus confinement measures for under-14s)

Update - 24 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 367 on Friday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This is the lowest number since March 21, when there were 324 fatalities. It is also a slight drop on yesterday’s figure of 440.

There have been a total of 22,524 official Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, while 92,355 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital, a daily rise of 3,105. Eight regions in Spain registered fewer than 10 coronavirus deaths: Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, Navarre and La Rioja.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 367, the lowest figure in a month)

Beaches in Marbella will be reopened from Sunday.

This measure coincides with the change to the state of alarm, effective Sunday 26 April, which allows children up to 14 to go for walks accompanied by an adult. The town hall is keen to avoid overcrowding and according to the mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, "it would not make sense for people to crowd the promenade and for the beaches to be closed".

- - -

While the beaches will reopen, sunbathing, however, will continue to be prohibited. The Local Police and Civil Protection will monitor compliance with the restrictions and respect for safety distances.

(www.surinenglish.com - Marbella to reopen beaches on Sunday to allow residents to take children for a walk)

The Gibraltar government is planning a gradual easing of the lockdown measures which were introduced a month ago, as the coronavirus statistics show few new cases and a high recovery rate. However, it warns that the easing of restrictions will have to be in the form of an orderly and phased release, one which can be reversed at any time and which is dependent on a series of criteria.

- - -

One of the first measures will be to allow over-70s to take exercise if they so wish, but this will be under strict conditions. The government has discussed the idea of a 'Golden Hour', a certain time of the day when elderly people can go for a walk in a designated area where they will come into contact with fewer other people.

(www.surinenglish.com - Gibraltar draws up cautious plans to start easing lockdown)

Update - 25 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 378 on Saturday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is slightly up from Friday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 367.

There were 2,944 new infections, although this figure only counts cases confirmed through PCR tests, which are more reliable than the faster serological ones.

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is 22,902. Health authorities also reported that a total of 95,708 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to 378)

Governments should not issue so-called "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" as a way of easing lockdowns, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

It said there was "no evidence" that people who had developed antibodies after recovering from the virus were protected against a second infection.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Immunity passports ‘could increase virus spread’)

Spaniards will be allowed to go out for exercise and for walks starting on May 2 if coronavirus contagion figures go down, said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at a news conference on Saturday night.

(english.elpais.com - Spain may allow confined citizens out for walks on May 2, says PM)

Update - 26 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 288 on Sunday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is a significant drop from Saturday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 378, and the lowest figure since March 18.

However, the data should be viewed with some caution, given that there has been regular underreporting of coronavirus statistics from Spain’s 17 regions at weekends and on public holidays due to lower levels of personnel.

There were 1,729 new infections, although this figure only counts cases confirmed through PCR tests, which identify people with an active infection at the time of testing. The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 207,634. The number is higher if cases identified through serological tests, which measure antibodies in the blood, are taken into account. Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests.

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is 23,190. Health authorities also reported that a total of 98,732 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, a daily rise of 3,024. A total of 37,584 health workers have contracted the coronavirus since the beginning of the crisis.

(english.elpais.com - Spain sees significant fall in daily coronavirus deaths: 288 in 24 hours)

Update - 27 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 331 on Monday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is a rise from Sunday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 288, the lowest figure since March 18.

However, the data should be viewed with some caution, given that there has been regular underreporting of coronavirus statistics from Spain’s 17 regions on weekends and on public holidays due to fewer personnel.

There were 1,831 new infections, although this figure only counts cases confirmed through PCR tests, which identify people with an active infection at the time of testing. Since Sunday, the government has only reported infections confirmed via this method, and not serological tests, which measure antibodies in the blood. Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests.

The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 209,465, and the total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is 23,521. Health authorities also reported that a total of 100,875 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital. . .

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to 331, as recoveries exceed 100,000)

Germany has reported 5,750 deaths from Covid-19 - a much lower toll than in Italy, Spain, France or the UK.

Its large-scale testing and strict, early lockdown are believed to have kept the rate of infection down.

Last week the eastern state of Saxony became the first to make mask-wearing compulsory. It is also compulsory in Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, for shoppers and public transport users.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Germans don compulsory masks as lockdown eases)

Update - 28 April 2020

Some of the regions that have proposed . . . time limit include the Canary Islands and Andalusia. The latter region’s government believes that the ideal time to avoid contagion would be for seniors to go out for walks in the morning – from 9am to 2pm – and for children to go out in the afternoon, from 4pm to 9pm.

(english.elpais.com - Spain considering setting timetables for walks as part of confinement deescalation)

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 301 on Tuesday. . .

What’s more, there was also a fall in the number of new infections. On Tuesday, there were 1,308 new infections. . .

- - -

The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 210,773. If serological tests are counted, that figure is 232,128.

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is 23,822. Health authorities also reported that a total of 102,548 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, a daily rise of 1,673.

(english.elpais.com - Spain records lowest rate of coronavirus contagion since declaration of state of alarm)

Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its stringent coronavirus lockdown and return to a "new normality" by the end of June.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said each region would relax restrictions at a different pace, depending on the severity of its outbreak.

Four Spanish islands will be first to ease measures from 4 May, with the rest of Spain following a week later.

- - -

On Tuesday, the prime minister outlined a fuller de-escalation plan with four phases, each expected to last about two weeks. He said the process would take a minimum of six weeks, and hopefully no more than eight.

"By the end of June, we as a country will have entered into the new normality if the epidemic remains under control," he said.

Before the plan kicks in, there will be a preparatory "phase zero" from 4-11 May, in which hairdressers and other businesses that take appointments can reopen, restaurants can offer take-away services, and professional sports leagues will go back to training.

- - -

The government wants remote working to continue wherever possible until June, when the fourth and final phase should be imposed.

- - -

  • Small businesses and hotels can open from 11 May, but social distancing will remain in force
  • Though some schools will reopen in late May, most will stay closed until the new term begins in September, in line with a similar decision in Italy. By contrast, France unveiled plans on Tuesday to gradually resume school classes from 11 May
  • Restaurants can start opening their terraces from mid-May, but they must not be more than 30% full during the first phase
  • Religious services can resume on a limited basis from 11 May, at no more than one third of the building's capacity
  • Theatres and cinemas will reopen from late May, but again must be no more than a third full
  • Shops can open at half capacity from around the end of June, with two metres (6ft) between shoppers
  • Beaches are expected to reopen in late June

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Spain plans return to 'new normal' by end of June)

For more information about the descalating and the four phases, please read the following article: english.elpais.com - Spain’s prime minister announces coronavirus deescalation measures

Update - 29 April 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 325 on Wednesday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is a slight rise from Tuesday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 301. The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 24,275.

In the past 24 hours, 6,399 coronavirus patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital. This is the highest number recorded since the beginning of the crisis, and brings the total number of recoveries to 108,947.

- - -

Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests. The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 212,917.

(english.elpais.com - Spain reports record number of coronavirus recoveries, but daily deaths rise to 325)

Some 313 coronavirus cases have been reported in Moroccan jails following mass testing for Covid-19.

The authorities say Ouarzazate prison in central Morocco recorded 303 cases, while 10 other cases were in Oudaya prison in Marrakesh and Ksar Kebir prison in the north-west.

Most of the cases involved prisoners, but a small number of prison warders were also diagnosed.

The mass testing started after one person in Ouarzazate prison tested positive last week.

The authorities say they have isolated all positive cases and all warders have been issued with protective gear.

There are nearly 80,000 inmates in Moroccan prisons. In early April, more than 5,654 inmates were pardoned by the king to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in notoriously overcrowded prisons.

Morocco has 4,252 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 165 deaths.

(www.bbc.com - Hundreds of Moroccan inmates test positive for virus)

Remdesivir cut the duration of symptoms from 15 days down to 11 in clinical trial at hospitals around the world.

The full details have not been published, but experts said it would be a "fantastic result" if confirmed, but not a "magic bullet" for the disease.

A drug would have the potential to save lives, ease pressure on hospitals and allow parts of lockdown to be lifted.

Remdesivir was originally developed as an Ebola treatment. It is an antiviral and works by attacking an enzyme that a virus needs in order to replicate inside our cells.

(www.bbc.com - Remdesivir: Drug has 'clear cut' power to fight coronavirus)

Update - 30 April 2020

The daily Covid-19 fatality figure went down again in Spain on Thursday to 268,. . . This takes the national total up to 24,543, according to official figures offered by the government.

The number of coronavirus cases (those confirmed by PCR tests) in Spain was at 213,435 on Thursday, 1,309 more in 24 hours and down on the 2,144 cases reported on Wednesday.

The total of confirmed Covid-19 patients having recovered from the disease was at 112,050 on Thursday. This was an increase of 3,103, fewer than the record 6,399 cured patients reported on Wednesday but still more than twice the new cases.

(www.surinenglish.com - Spain's daily coronavirus death figure falls to 268, the lowest in six weeks)

Update - 1 May 2020

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 281 on Friday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is the second consecutive day that Spain has reported fewer than 300 daily fatalities, but a slight rise from Thursday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 268.

The official death toll in Spain since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 24,824.

On Friday, there were 1,175 new infections, compared to 1,309 on Thursday. The number of new infections only represents coronavirus cases that have been confirmed via PCR tests, which identify people with an active infection at the time of testing.

Since Sunday, the government has only reported infections confirmed via PCR testing, and not serological tests, which measure antibodies in the blood – i.e. detecting those who have had the coronavirus and recovered. Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests. The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 215,216.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain remain below 300 for second day running)

The Ministry of Health has set fixed timetables for people to leave the home for non-essential physical exercise from Saturday (2 May) in Spain.

According to the regulations announced on Thursday, and published in the official state gazette (BOE) on 1 May, children and adults out for walks will have to stick to a specific time period, a measure practically all of the regional authorities in Spain had called for.

- - -

6-10am and 8-11pm Adults and teenagers 14 and over can go for a walk. A maximum of two people together if they are from the same household. One walk a day. Limited to one kilometre radius from home.

6-10am and 8-11pm Adults and teenagers 14 and over can practise individual sports, once a day and must stay within municipal boundaries.

10am -12pm and 7- 8pm The over-70s and dependent citizens with carers can go out for a walk.Once a day and within a one-kilometre radius of the home.

12-7pm A parent can go out with up to three children for one hour a day within a one-kilometre radius from the home.

(www.surinenglish.com - What time can I go out for a walk from Saturday?)

Update - 2 May 2020

Pedestrians, cyclists and runners took to the streets all across Spain today, as confinement restrictions were partially lifted after 48 days of near-total lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- - -

Official figures from the Health Ministry released on Saturday showed that there were 276 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, slightly down from Friday’s figure of 281 and in keeping with the falling trend of recent weeks.

But the number of total Covid-19 deaths in Spain has now passed another grim milestone, with 25,100 recorded victims, according to today’s official figures.

The number of cases confirmed by the most reliable PCR tests now stands at 216,582, according to Saturday’s data, an increase of 1,147 in the last 24 hours. This is the smallest rise since the state of alarm was implemented by the government on March 14.

(english.elpais.com - Spaniards take to the streets for exercise after 48 days of confinement)

. . . masks will be obligatory from Monday [4 May] on public transport, and that six million face coverings would be distributed in transportation hubs. Another seven million would be distributed by Spanish municipalities, and a further 1.5 million via social institutions . . .

(english.elpais.com - Spanish PM: Face masks will be obligatory on public transport from Monday)

. . . during Phase 1, which will begin on May 11 in provinces that meet the set requirements, up to 10 people will be able to meet either in the open air or in their homes, provided that they maintain an interpersonal distance of two meters. They will also be required to respect hygiene measures such as handwashing.

The use of cars during Phase 1 will also be subject to regulations. Vehicles will be permitted to be occupied by up to nine people, provided that they all live in the same home. If the occupants of a vehicle do not live together, a limit of one person in each row of seats will apply, and they will have to wear masks.

(english.elpais.com - Health Ministry will allow social meetings of up to 10 people under Phase 1 of Spain’s deescalation plan)

Update - 3 May 2020

. . . the number of daily coronavirus-related fatalities has fallen to 163 in the last 24 hours . . .

Not since March 18, four days after the state of alarm was implemented by the central government, has that figure been so low.

- - -

. . . there is a clear downward trend in the epidemic, with 276 fatalities reported on Saturday, and nine regions registering no new admissions of coronavirus patients to their ICUs. The number of coronavirus deaths peaked in Spain on April 2, when there were 950 fatalities reported by the Health Ministry. The total number of official coronavirus-related deaths in Spain now stands at 25,264.

According to the latest data, there were 838 new infections as confirmed by the more reliable PCR tests, and 1,247 Covid-19 patients discharged from treatment in the last 24 hours. Since the crisis began, there have been a total of 217,466 infections in Spain confirmed by PCR tests, while 118,902 patients have recovered.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus fatalities in Spain fall to 163, the lowest figure seen since March 18)

France, Italy and Spain have registered the lowest daily death tolls for weeks as they prepare to ease restrictions.

France reported 135 deaths; Spain's 164 were the lowest since mid-March; and Italy's 174 was a two-month low.

Meanwhile French doctor has claimed new tests on samples from patients show the virus was present in the country last year - weeks before the first officially recorded case.

In Russia the virus appears to be advancing, with 10,000 new infections.

But Russia's mortality rate remains low relative to other countries. On Sunday it recorded 58 deaths, taking its total to 1,280.

The UK recorded 315 new deaths and has the third-highest number of deaths behind the US and Italy. However British officials say the outbreak has peaked and the number of new hospital admissions is declining.

Globally the pandemic has seen nearly 3.5 million people infected and nearly 250,000 people have died.

- - -

France is planning to lift its lockdown on 11 May . . .

France also clarified that a rule requiring anyone entering the country to go into isolation for two weeks did not apply to people arriving from EU countries, the Schengen area or the UK.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: New lows for deaths in France, Spain and Italy)

Update - 4 May 2020

Starting on Monday, anyone traveling by bus, rail, sea or air must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. The Spanish government is planning to hand out 14 million face masks at major transit hubs to ensure this rule is observed. Face masks will also be mandatory inside private vehicles when the passengers are not all members of the same household.

In private cars and company vehicles whose main activity is not road freight transportation, with seating for up to nine people including the driver, it will be possible to seat two people in each row, as long as they wear face masks and keep the greatest possible distance between them.

(english.elpais.com - Shopping, driving, training: New deescalation measures go into effect in Spain on May 4)

Las muertes por el nuevo coronavirus contabilizaron este lunes el mismo dato que el domingo. El Ministerio de Sanidad ha registrado 164 fallecimientos, lo que eleva la cifra total de decesos por la Covid-19 a las 25.428 personas. Se trata de la segunda cifra más baja desde que se decretó el estado de alarma el 14 de marzo, y una nueva jornada en la que no se supera la barrera de los 200 decesos diarios desde que la curva comenzó a ascender.

El número de casos positivos confirmados por los test PCR (más eficaces) muestra que 218.101 personas se han contagiados desde que empezó la crisis sanitaria. Este lunes se contaron 356 nuevos infectados, una drástica reducción con respecto al domingo, cuando se registraron 838 . . .

(www.diariosur.es - El coronavirus deja 164 fallecidos y la cifra de nuevos contagios más baja en casi dos meses)

Update - 5 May 2020

Official figures from the Health Ministry released on Tuesday showed that there were 185 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours.

- - -

According to the latest data, there were 867 new infections as confirmed by the more reliable PCR tests, compared to 356 on Monday. Since the crisis began, there have been a total of 219,329 infections in Spain confirmed by PCR tests, while 123,486 patients have recovered.

The total number of official coronavirus-related deaths in Spain now stands at 25,613.

(english.elpais.com - Mascarillas, comercios, transportes, restaurantes... Qué se podrá hacer a partir de este lunes)

Update - 6 May 2020

Spanish health authorities announced on Wednesday that overnight coronavirus-related fatalities had come in at 244 . . .

This new figure breaks a three-day run of fewer than 200 daily deaths, and brings total fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic to 25,857, according to the official count. The number of infections since the epidemic began, as measured by the more reliable PCR testing, stands at 220,325 . . .

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus daily fatalities rise again in Spain after three days under 200)

The Congress of Deputies voted on Wednesday to extend the state of alarm in Spain for another 15 days, maintaining the emergency powers this situation gives the government to deal with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

- - -

Sánchez’s request for an additional period until May 24 was met with growing objections from the opposition, and the prime minister, who heads a minority government in coalition with junior partner Unidas Podemos, was forced into last-minute negotiations to secure the simple majority of more yes than no votes he needed in the 350-strong Congress.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s Congress of Deputies approves fourth extension to state of alarm)

Update - 7 May 2020

Official figures from the Health Ministry released on Thursday showed that there were 213 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours . . .

But the number of total Covid-19 deaths in Spain has now passed another grim milestone, with 26,070 recorded victims, according to today’s official figures. The number of infections since the epidemic began, as measured by the more reliable PCR testing, stands at 221,447, a daily rise of 754.

In the past 24 hours, 2,509 coronavirus patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of discharged patients to 128,511.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 213, but total now exceeds 26,000)

Black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die with Covid-19 as their white counterparts, according to new analysis from the Office for National Statistics.

The analysis combines data on Covid-19 deaths with information on ethnicity from the 2011 Census.

(www.bbc.com - Black people in UK 'twice as likely to die' from Covid-19)

International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways (BA), Aer Lingus and Iberia, says it is planning a "meaningful return" of flights in July at the earliest if lockdown measures are eased.

But the company said the plans were "highly uncertain", and subject to various travel restrictions.

(www.bbc.com - BA owner hopes to revive flights in July)

(www.facebook.com - Policia Local Marbella)

Update - 8 May 2020

Official figures from the Spanish Health Ministry released on Friday showed that there were 229 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, a slight rise from the 213 recorded on Thursday.

- - -

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 26,299.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise again to 229)

The Spanish government on Friday announced the areas of Spain that will move to the next phase of the government’s deescalation plan on Monday.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish government announces areas that will move to the next phase of coronavirus deescalation)

Update - 9 May 2020

A total of 223,578 people have been confirmed via testing to have been infected by the coronavirus in Spain, according to the latest figures.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 deaths also returned to levels last seen on Monday, with 179 fatalities registered in the last 24 hours. That’s a 0.68% increase on the total, which now stands at 26,478 deaths in Spain. For the last four days, the daily number of fatalities had exceeded 200.

In terms of hospitalizations, these rose 0.4% in the last 24 hours, to an overall total of 122,265 during the crisis. Admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) came in at 70, 0.6% up on the previous day, bringing the total to 11,292.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus infections in Spain rise just 0.27%, the second lowest figure so far)

UK airlines say they have been told the government will bring in a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in the UK from any country apart from the Republic of Ireland in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new restriction is expected to take effect at the end of this month.

Industry body Airlines UK said the policy needed "a credible exit plan" and should be reviewed weekly.

People arriving in the UK would have to self-isolate at a private residence.

Government and aviation sources told BBC News that the quarantine would mean people might be expected to provide an address when they arrive at the border.

It is not clear how long the new travel restriction would be in place and whether non-UK residents would be allowed to stay in rented private accommodation.

(www.bbc.com - UK 'to bring in 14-day quarantine' for air passengers)

Update - 10 May 2020

The number of daily coronavirus-related fatalities in Spain came in at 143 on Sunday, the lowest figure seen since March 18, four days after the state of alarm was implemented by the government in a bid to combat the spread of the pandemic. The total number of victims in Spain now stands at 26,621, a 0.54% rise on the day before.

- - -

The number of new infections confirmed via PCR tests was 621 according to Sunday’s data, a rise of just 0.28% of the total. For 10 days now the rate of new infections has come in below 1%.

- - -

Meanwhile, 2,214 patients were discharged from hospital after having recovered from the Covid-19 disease, bringing the total during the crisis so far to 136,166.

A total of 48,046 health workers in Spain have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the Health Ministry.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus-related deaths in Spain fall to 143, the lowest figure since March 18)

Update - 11 May 2020

The number of daily coronanvirus-related deaths in Spain fell to 123 on Monday, according to the latest figures from the Spanish Health Ministry. This represents a fall from Sunday, when 143 fatalities were recorded. The total number of victims in Spain now stands at 26,744, a 0.54% rise on the day before. This is the lowest percentage increase since the peak of the outbreak in early April.

There was also a significant drop in the number of new infections confirmed via PCR tests. In the past 24 hours, 373 new cases were detected, compared to 621 on Sunday.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus-related deaths in Spain fall to 123, while new cases drop to 373)

Update - 12 May 2020

The number of daily coronanvirus-related deaths in Spain was at 176 on Tuesday, according to the latest figures from the Spanish Health Ministry.

- - -

In the past 24 hours, 426 new infections were confirmed via PCR tests, up from 373 on Monday, but below Sunday’s figure of 621. This brings the total number of cases since the beginning of the crisis to 228,030.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus-related deaths in Spain rise to 176, but remain below 200 for fourth day in a row)

Travelers coming to Spain from abroad will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to a new Health Ministry order published on Tuesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The quarantine requirements for travelers coming into Spain go into effect this coming Friday, May 15, and will remain in force throughout the duration of the state of alarm, which is due to end on May 24 but may be extended by the government if other parties support such a move in the lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies. If the emergency situation is extended for another two weeks, the travel restrictions will, in principle, continue to apply.

- - -

During the quarantine period, anyone coming into Spanish territory from another country will have to remain inside their home or rented lodgings. Trips outside will be limited to the purchase of essential products such as food and medicine, to seek medical assistance, and for other situations of urgent necessity. Face masks must be worn at all times.

- - -

Health authorities may contact individuals in quarantine to check on their health status, and anyone who develops symptoms is instructed to call the regional health services.

Travel agencies and transportation companies will have to inform prospective customers about these requirements when travel arrangements are made. Airlines will provide customers with a Passenger Location Card that passengers must have with them when they enter Spain.

(english.elpais.com - Spain to introduce 14-day quarantine for international travelers)

Update - 13 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry reported on Wednesday a slight rise in the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths, with 184 victims recorded in the past 24 hours, compared to 176 on Tuesday. The total number of victims in Spain now stands at 27,104.

According to the latest figures, there were 439 new coronavirus cases, as confirmed by PCR tests, bringing the grand total to 228,691. Today’s figure represents a 0.19% rise on the total. Since the beginning of the crisis, 140,832 patients have been discharged from hospital after recovering from the disease – 1,843 in the past 24 hours.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus-related deaths in Spain rise to 184, bringing total to more than 27,000)

Austria and Germany have become the latest EU countries to agree to remove travel restrictions.

From Friday there will be random checks at border crossings and then on 15 June free movement should resume. "We want to make people's everyday lives easier and take another step towards more normality," said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

- - -

The European Commission said its guidance was based on the principles of safety and non-discrimination. Tourism provided almost 10% of Europe's economic output and millions of jobs across the 27 member states relied on it.

Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said no-one should travel if they felt sick or experienced symptoms.

The non-binding plans involve countries working together to gradually remove travel bans and then border checks, while keeping targeted measures as the Covid-19 outbreak comes under control across the member states.

A phased approach would start by allowing seasonal workers across borders, followed by a lifting of restrictions between countries with the virus under a similar level control and then the opening of all the EU's internal borders.

(www.bbc.com - We will have summer tourist season, promises EU)

Update - 14 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry reported on Wednesday a rise in the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths, with 217 victims recorded in the past 24 hours, compared to 184 on Wednesday. This is the first time in five days that the number of daily fatalities has exceeded 200. The figure was 176 on Tuesday, 123 on Monday, and 143 on Sunday. The total number of victims in Spain now stands at 27,321.

(english.elpais.com - Spain records rise in daily coronavirus deaths: 217 in the past 24 hours)

Only 5% of Spaniards have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the preliminary results of a study by the Carlos III public health institute, which took blood samples from nearly 70,000 participants.

(english.elpais.com - Antibody study shows just 5% of Spaniards have contracted the coronavirus)

Update - 15 May 2020

The number of daily coronavirus-related deaths fell to 138 on Friday, according to the latest figures from the Spanish Health Ministry.

- - -

The total number of victims in Spain now stands at 27,459. This figure, however, continues to fall below the more than 30,000 deaths detected by the daily mortality monitoring system known as MoMo, which was created in 2004 to track the impact of heatwaves in Spain.

The number of new coronavirus cases, as confirmed by PCR tests, was 549 on Friday, the highest figure in a week. This brings the total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 230,183.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus-related deaths in Spain fall to 138, but new cases continue to rise)

Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) on Friday published an order extending restrictions on non-essential travel for people coming into Spanish territory until June 15.

- - -

Besides the quarantine, non-essential travel to Spain will be heavily restricted. As a rule, Spanish authorities will only let in Spanish citizens, permanent residents of Spain, and regular residents of the Schengen area (30 countries that include the EU members, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Andorra) who are in transit to their place of residence.

(english.elpais.com - Spain to extend restrictions on international travelers until June 15)

The provinces of Malaga and Granada will move into Phase One of the Spanish government's plan to gradually scale down its coronavirus restrictions on Monday 18 May.

(www.surinenglish.com - Costa del Sol moves to Phase One of lockdown easing on Monday)

Update - 16 May 2020

The number of daily fatalities related to the coronavirus came in at 102 on Saturday, the lowest figure registered since March 18, just four days after the state of alarm was implemented in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. The number of deaths registered on Friday was 138. According to data released today by the Health Ministry, fatalities related to Covid-19 in Spain now stand at 27,563.

The total number of cases that have been detected in Spain via the more reliable PRC tests currently stands at 230,698, which is an increase of 539 new cases since yesterday – a 0.32% rise on the total.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus fatalities in Spain fall to 102, the lowest figure in two months)

Update - 17 May 2020

. . . the number of daily coronavirus deaths fell today to 87. This marks the first time that fatalities related to the Covid-19 disease have dipped below the 100-mark in two months.

- - -

Today’s figure should, however, be treated with some caution given that during the crisis there has been underreporting from the country’s hospitals on Sundays and Mondays given lower staffing levels. That said, in recent weeks there has not been a significant uptick in the figures on Tuesdays or indeed the subsequent days.

The official number of Covid-19-related deaths in Spain now stands at 27,650, with a total of 231,350 confirmed cases.

In terms of new infections detected via the more reliable PCR tests, there were 421 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. This is also a substantial fall with respect to recent days, which have seen figures in excess of 500. These rises can, however, be attributed to testing capacity, which is ever greater. Cases that several weeks ago were considered suspected are now being tested, and are added to the official totals.

(english.elpais.com - Daily number of coronavirus fatalities in Spain falls below 100 for the first time in two months)

Update - 18 May 2020

There were 59 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 28 hours in Spain, said the Health Ministry in an afternoon briefing, down from 87 on Sunday. This is the second day in a row with fewer than 100 overnight fatalities.

The total official death tally is 27,709 while infections number 231,606 as certified by PCR lab tests.

Central authorities are now giving regional governments an additional four hours to send in their daily reports, and figures are being released in the afternoon instead of around noon.

(english.elpais.com - Daily Covid-19 death tally in Spain down to 59)

Update - 19 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry announced on Monday evening that the use of face masks in Spain will be obligatory in closed spaces and on the street where two-meter safe distances cannot be respected.

(english.elpais.com - Face masks in Spain will be compulsory in public spaces where social distancing cannot be respected)

The daily coronavirus death toll in Spain came in at 83 on Tuesday, . . .

The official number of Covid-19-related fatalities in Spain since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 27,778.

- - -

The total number of official infections in Spain since the crisis began now stands at 232,037.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus fatalities in Spain come in under 100 for third day in a row)

Update - 20 May 2020

According to the ministerial order, published Wednesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), face masks must be worn in the “public street, in open-air spaces and any closed space that is for public use or that is open to the public, where it is not possible to maintain [an interpersonal] distance” of two meters.

The new rules apply to everyone over the age of six. The use of face masks is also recommended for children between three and five years of age.

The measure comes into effect on Thursday and, in principle, will be valid for the duration of the state of alarm, . . .

(english.elpais.com - Obligatory use of face masks in Spain: What you need to know about the new rules)

The number of daily coronavirus-related fatalities in Spain rose slightly for the second day running on Wednesday, coming in at 95, compared to 83 the day before.

- - -

Since the coronavirus crisis began in Spain, there have been a total of 27,888 official coronavirus-related deaths, and 232,555 confirmed infections.

In the last 24 hours, there were 416 new infections, up from the 295 registered on Tuesday. However, of these, only 172 people with the virus began to show symptoms during the last seven days.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise slightly for second day running, to 95)

Update - 21 May 2020

A surge in visitors to beaches in northern Europe after coronavirus lockdowns were eased and temperatures rose has alarmed officials and experts.

Three towns in north-western France shut their beaches on Wednesday because of the "unacceptable" failure of people to observing social-distancing rules.

Municipalities in the Netherlands urged German tourists not to visit.

And in England, the town council in Southend said it might take action after sunseekers flocked there.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world has now passed five million, but the number of new infections has been falling across most of Europe.

European countries had reported 1.74 million cases and 164,349 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Those with the most fatalities are the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there is "still a long way to go in this pandemic", and called on people in countries where restrictions are being eased to continue to adapt their behaviour to minimise transmission of Covid-19.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Alarm as crowds flock to European beaches)

The Spanish Health Ministry on Thursday reported 48 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, the lowest figure since the state of alarm was introduced in mid-March in a bid to slow the spread of the pandemic.

However, this number does not reflect overnight fatalities in Catalonia, which has been posting the second-highest figures after Madrid. The ministry cited “validation problems” as the reason for not including these numbers in the total figure.

The ministry said that there were 344 new infections in the 24-hour period. The official number of coronavirus-related deaths in Spain now stands at reached 27,940.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 48, the lowest figure since the start of the state of alarm)

Update - 22 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry on Friday reported 56 overnight deaths from coronavirus, a figure that also takes into account fatalities in the last two days in Catalonia, which did not report its data on Thursday due “to a validation problem.”

There were 446 new infections detected with PCR lab tests over the period, said the ministry. The total official death tally is 28,628, with cases reaching 234,824.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus daily death toll down to 56 in Spain)

Update - 23 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry reported on Saturday that there had been 48 registered deaths related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the lowest number seen since the middle of March, at the outset of the epidemic. New infections detected via the more reliable PCR tests came in at 361 on Saturday. On Friday, the number of daily fatalities was 56, with 446 new infections.

There have been a total of 28,678 Covid-19 related deaths in Spain since the epidemic began, with 235,290 registered infections.

(english.elpais.com - Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 48, the lowest figure since mid-March)

Update - 24 May 2020

New infections came in at 246, hospitalizations at 86, and new intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were at three – all of which were the lowest seen since March, at the outset of the crisis.

- - -

The figures reported today by the ministry, which cover Saturday, also registered a slight increase in the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths, which rose to 70 . . .

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Spain at lowest level since March)

Update - 25 May 2020

The Spanish government is planning on lifting the two-week coronavirus quarantine requirement for overseas arrivals on July 1. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting held today via video conference call.

(english.elpais.com - Spain will lift two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals from July 1)

Update - 26 May 2020

The Spanish Health Ministry on Monday revised downward the official coronavirus death toll in Spain. The total number of victims since the beginning of the pandemic stood on Sunday at 28,752. But on Monday, the figure reported was 26,834. This represents a drop of 1,918, or 7% of the total. The revision breaks the statistical series and devalues the figures reported in the previous days, given they can no longer be compared with the new ones. Following the evolution of the epidemic will be impossible until the Health Ministry reconstructs the series.

Speaking at the government’s daily press conference on Monday, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, said that the discrepancy was due to “several factors,” including the “elimination of duplicates,” and the fact that regions had reported some victims as confirmed Covid-19 cases, even though the diagnosis had not been supported by PCR testing. The northeastern region of Catalonia saw the biggest downward revision, with nearly six in 10 fatalities (59%) disappearing from the official count. This represents 1,116 fewer deaths that the number reported on Sunday.

- - -

According to the latest figures, there were 132 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. Several regions including the Balearic Islands, Cantabria and Castilla-La Mancha did not report a single new infection. The accumulated rate is 2.18 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with symptoms showing in the past two weeks.

Coronavirus-related fatalities

The Health Ministry reported 50 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday. This figure, however, no longer corresponds to fatalities recorded in the previous 24-hour period, but rather to the past week. But Monday’s figure also contrasts with the data health authorities have been recording in recent days. The number of coronavirus deaths was 70 on Sunday, 48 on Saturday, and 83 last Tuesday.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish Health Ministry lowers coronavirus death toll by nearly 2,000)

Update - 27 May 2020

The official coronavirus death toll in Spain rose by 283 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of victims to 27,117. Only 35 of these fatalities, however, occurred within the last week, and were recorded in the daily report. The Spanish Health Ministry did not report the figure of 283, although this number represents the difference between the coronavirus death toll on Monday and Tuesday.

According to Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, the other 248 victims were old cases that had not yet been given a date of death.

- - -

Simón said on Tuesday that 10 of Spain’s 17 regions had not reported a single coronavirus-related death in the past week. Five others had only reported one or two fatalities. Catalonia and La Rioja reported the highest number of deaths, with eight and nine respectively over the last seven days.

- - -

According to the Health Ministry, 256 coronavirus patients have been admitted into hospital over the past week, bringing the total to 123,182. Another 12 patients were admitted into intensive care in the same seven-day period.

(english.elpais.com - Coronavirus death toll in Spain rises by 283, but only 35 fatalities recorded last week)

From Wednesday, children living in areas of Spain that have entered Phase 2 of the coronavirus deescalation plan will be able to go outside as many times as they like, without any restrictions on how far they can go or for how long. That’s according to the Health Ministry order published Tuesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), which has formalized what many families have been doing since last week, when the timetables for walks and exercise were removed for areas under Phase 2, with the exception of the time slot allocated to senior residents.

- - -

The order lifts these restrictions, meaning that both children and adults will be able to go for walks and practice individual sports, such as running or cycling, in any part of their province, island or healthcare area, with no limit on time of distance. In other words, anyone living in a Phase 2 area will be able to go hiking in the woods or take a day trip to the countryside, as long as they remain within their province.

The only restriction that will remain in place is the time slot allotted for seniors, which will continue to be from 10am to 12pm, and from 7pm to 8pm. Regional authorities, however, are allowed to move this schedule by up to two hours to avoid the hottest time of the day.

(english.elpais.com - Spain lifts lockdown rules on exercise and walks in Phase 2 areas)

Update - 28 May 2020

According to the latest figures from the Spanish Health Ministry, 75% of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday were diagnosed in Madrid and Catalonia. Of the 231 new infections, 174 were reported by the two regions.

Up until Monday, the Health Ministry had reported the sum number of new coronavirus infections. This figure, however, included old cases that had only recently been diagnosed due to delays, for example, in test results. In an effort to provide a more accurate picture of the transmission rate, health authorities now record how many infections have been diagnosed since the previous day.

According to Wednesday’s figures, the Spanish Health Ministry recorded 39 coronavirus-related fatalities over the past seven days, bringing the total number of victims to 27,118. This is just one more above Tuesday’s figure of 27,117.

(english.elpais.com - Three in four new coronavirus cases diagnosed in Madrid and Catalonia)

Between March 1 and May 12, Spain recorded 43,295 more deaths than what would be considered normal for this time of the year, based on past mortality rates. This is up 52% from the expected deaths for the period.

The figure includes 27,302 confirmed fatalities from Covid-19, but there are an additional 15,993 deaths that show up on civil registries but are not recorded as coronavirus victims, even though many of them probably are.

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The excess death figures are suffering from reporting delays. One of the problems with regional civil registry records is that deaths are notified two to three days late. And during the coronavirus crisis, these time frames have become even longer. Also, some civil registries have not yet digitalized their records, which creates even greater delays. The present analysis takes this into account, and focuses on deaths that occurred until May 12.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s excess deaths during coronavirus crisis reach 43,000)

The Spanish government announced on Thursday evening the regions that have been given the green light to transition to a new phase of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan.

Speaking at a press conference, Health Minister Salvador Illa indicated that “from Monday [June 1], 70% of the population will be in Phase 2 . . .

The following areas will move to Phase 2: the entire region of Andalusia . . .

Under Phase 2, regions will be able to decide whether or not classes should restart in schools, social gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed and there are no restrictions on outdoor activity.

(english.elpais.com - 70% of Spain will be in Phase 2 of coronavirus deescalation plan by Monday, government announces)

Update - 29 May 2020

After peaking in early April, Covid-19 cases in Spain are down to a trickle. On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported one single death in 24 hours for the second consecutive day. There were 38 fatalities in the last seven days.

The official death tally is now 27,119, although these figures have been undergoing review following a change in the regional notification system that makes it hard to compare new and old data.

This number also fails to take into account excess deaths recorded at civil registries, many of which are probably coronavirus-related.

According to the latest available numbers, there were 182 new infections in the last 24 hours confirmed through PCR lab tests. Of these, nearly 72% were located in the Madrid region and in Catalonia. The total number of cases is now 237,906.

(english.elpais.com - Spain records single coronavirus death in 24-hour period)

Many epidemiologists have warned of the risk of a new coronavirus outbreak in autumn. This is not because cold weather is the source of infections – bacteria and viruses are – but rather because people are likely to spend more time indoors. Poorly ventilated areas are the perfect breeding ground for the flu, the cold – and for Covid-19. Indeed, from what has been learned about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, fresh air is one of its main enemies.

(english.elpais.com - Could fresh air help ward off coronavirus infections?)

Update - 31 May 2020

“From June 8,” the prime minister continued on Sunday, “with more than half the country in Phase 3, it will be the regional premiers who decide how to manage the speed [of the coronavirus deescalation], including phase changes and their duration. We are moving from co-governance to full governance.” When the regions are in Phase 3, the last of the four deescalation stages, they will also recover powers over mobility.

(english.elpais.com - Spain’s PM puts final stage of coronavirus deescalation in hands of the regions)

Update - 3 June 2020

The Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, who heads a coalition government with junior partner Unidas Podemos, was speaking in Spain’s lower house of parliament today at a vote to extend the state of alarm for a sixth and final time. The emergency powers have been in place since March 14, with the aim of halting the spread of the coronavirus. After an at times bitter debate, Sánchez won the vote to keep the state of alarm in place until June 21, with 177 votes in favor. The abstention of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and the support of the Basque Nationalist Party and Ciudadanos (Citizens) was key to the legislation passing.

(english.elpais.com - After bitter debate in Congress, Spain’s PM secures extension to state of alarm)

Domestic travel was banned when Italy's lockdown came into effect in early March, with only a small number of exceptions allowed. Tourism was also prohibited and those entering Italy faced a 14-day quarantine.

But with Wednesday's changes, Italians are now able to move between regions.

Travel to and from other European countries is also permitted - depending on the rules in the destination country - but non-European travel remains off-limits.

Shops, cafes and restaurants had already opened their doors again, and tourist sites including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum have begun welcoming tourists in recent days.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: Italy's Conte offers hope as travel restrictions end)

Update - 9 June 2020

The Spanish Cabinet on Tuesday approved a decree for the “new normality,” setting out the coronavirus safety measures that will be in place once the state of alarm comes to an end on June 21.

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The decree includes the obligatory use of face masks in closed public spaces where a 1.5-meter safe distance cannot be observed, and also fines of up to €100 for people who are not wearing them. The decree also leaves open the possibility of regulating their use in the open air. However, the application of the restrictions and the measures will fall to regional authorities, who regain control of the deescalation process under Phase 3, the final stage of the central government’s coronavirus deescalation process.

(english.elpais.com - Spanish Cabinet approves decree for ‘new normality’ after coronavirus state of alarm ends)

Update - 15 June 2020

The European Commission encouraged the lifting of all internal border restrictions from Monday but only a small number of nations announced they would reopen.

In Germany, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland, which is not an EU member but is part of the Schengen free travel area, traffic police and officials enforcing the coronavirus restrictions are no longer present.

The Czech Republic is allowing unrestricted travel to and from 26 states but is still banning people from Belgium, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.

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Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country would allow free travel with EU countries from 21 June, except for Portugal. However, Spain is allowing German tourists to visit its Balearic Islands from Monday as part of a pilot scheme to boost its tourism sector.

Its border with Portugal remains closed until 1 July.

(www.bbc.com - Coronavirus: France announces significant lifting of restrictions)

Update - 18 June 2020

The government of Spain's Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean will not allow nightclubs to reopen this year - or possibly even until there's a vaccine available.

(www.bbc.com - Sorry ravers, Ibiza clubs won't open this year)

Update - 20 June 2020

On Sunday June 21, at 12am, the whole of Spain will enter what the government has classed the “new normality.”

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What does the new normality consist of? In this new stage, which begins on Sunday, mobility restrictions imposed by the state of alarm will end but hygiene and safe-distancing measures will remain. The government has approved a Royal Decree that sets out the obligatory use of masks when a safe inter-personal distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained, with fines of up to €100 if this is not observed. The rules also establish constant coordination between residences and the health system, the adoption of prevention and hygiene measures in the workplace – the organization of work stations and shifts to avoid large groups of people – and health controls in airports.

How long will the new normality last? The measures in this new phase will be in place until the pandemic is considered to be over, either thanks to the appearance of an effective treatment or a vaccine. The regulations set out by the Royal Decree can be complemented with the rules established by each region.

(english.elpais.com - As Spain enters the ‘new normality’ on Sunday, what will change?)

Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya told the BBC on Saturday that travelers from the United Kingdom will not need to undergo a two-week coronavirus quarantine when they arrive on Spanish soil, despite the fact that all passengers traveling to the former country are currently required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.

The confirmation came the day before the border will reopen, and after a week of uncertainty that began on Sunday when the Spanish government announced that borders would reopen on June 21 to European Union and Schengen-area countries.

(english.elpais.com - No quarantine for UK travelers entering Spain, foreign minister confirms)

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