Skip to main content
// //

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on April 12, 2020.

BORJA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA/AFP/Getty Images

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday any further loosening of the country’s lockdown restrictions would depend on more progress in the fight against the coronavirus, a day before some companies plan to reopen their doors.

The country’s overnight death toll from the infection rose for the first time in three days on Sunday, to 619, health ministry data showed, bringing the cumulative toll to 16,972. Confirmed cases increased by around 2.6% to 166,019.

Tough lockdown measures have helped bring down a spiralling death rate that reached its peak in early April. New deaths reported on Saturday were the lowest in 19 days while the increase of confirmed cases has roughly halved from a week ago.

Story continues below advertisement

“We are still far from victory, from the moment when we can pick up our normal lives again, but we have made the first decisive steps in the path toward victory,” Sanchez said at a news conference.

The government plans on Monday to revert to the less strict curbs in force up to March 27, allowing some businesses that cannot work remotely, including construction and manufacturing, to reopen, and triggering concerns of a resurgence.

Catalan leader Quim Torra described the decision to restart these sectors as irresponsible and reckless.

“The risk of a new outbreak and a second lockdown is enormous,” he said at a news conference.

Sanchez told reporters the decision to restart some sectors of the economy was taken after consulting a committee of scientific experts and any further winding down would depend on gains made against the virus.

“If that doesn’t happen, I want to be very clear, we will maintain or reinforce the restrictions.”

Miguel Angel Carrasco, 56, a television producer who works for Canal Sur in Seville, will return to work on Monday after weeks away from his job.

Story continues below advertisement

“On one hand I am keen to get back to work because I have been stuck at home not able to report on what is going on. But on the other, I am worried about catching the virus,” he told Reuters, adding that his employer had not provided face masks.

TOURISM HIT HARD

European Central Bank Vice-President Luis de Guindos said Spain’s reliance on tourism would likely leave it exposed to a worse recession than the rest of Europe. The coronavirus is weighing heavily on the Spanish economy, with some 900,000 jobs lost since mid-March.

“We’re talking about the worst economic situation since the (1936-39 Spanish) Civil War,” the former Spanish economy minister said in an interview with the La Vanguardia newspaper.

Industry Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said the tourism sector would be slow to recover and measures to prevent the spread of the virus, such as handwashing and social distancing, would have to continue, even on the beach.

Traditional festivals have also been disrupted by the epidemic.

At the Santa Maria de Cana church on the outskirts of Madrid, a video camera set up in front of the altar allowed priest Fernando del Moral to stream the Easter mass to his congregation via Youtube.

Story continues below advertisement

Just seven people attended the service, which last year drew a congregation of some 1,800, del Moral said.

“It’s a strange feeling not only because it’s empty but because of what each person means,” he said.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies