Spain is lifting certain locking measures; fewer deaths in Italy


A construction site in Valencia on March 26, 2020.


Construction and factory workers in Spain return to work on Monday as the government lifts some of the most stringent lockdowns, but opposition parties warn of “reckless” easing of the rules.

Spain, one of the countries most affected by Covid-19, has authorized the reopening of certain factories as well as the restarting of certain construction works, after sectors were ordered to stop production there at two weeks. However, the message from government officials is that the country remains in lockdown mode. Schools, bars, restaurants and other services are still closed to the public and the Spanish are supposed to stay at home.

The decision to loosen some of Spain’s foreclosure restrictions has been challenged by political opponents, at a time when Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wants a “big deal” to boost the economy.

“We need to start the de-escalation of political tension now and give way to unity, dialogue, consensus and agreement as soon as possible,” said Sanchez on Sunday.

“We need a great pact for the economic and social reconstruction of our country,” added the Prime Minister.

The Spanish government is formed by the Socialist Party of Sanchez and the anti-austerity group Unidas Podemos. The coalition obtained sufficient parliamentary support in January through the abstention of small parties. The executive also faces friction with regional governments, including in Catalonia.

As of Monday, more than 166,000 people in Spain had contracted the coronavirus, with 17,209 deaths in the country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Spain has the highest number of virus infections in Europe and is second behind the United States for the total number of infections.

Opposition parties have criticized the government’s decision to reopen factories and construction companies, saying it is “reckless” and “reckless” to relax some of the foreclosures.

The pandemic is wreaking havoc on the Spanish economy. Jobless claims rose 302,265 last month, according to the Spanish Ministry of Labor. This represents an increase of 9.31% compared to February.

Italy to reopen select stores from Tuesday

In Italy, 19,989 deaths were recorded on Sunday, which represents a daily jump of 431 deaths from the previous day and the smallest daily increase since March 19.

Meanwhile, the number of infections reached 156,363 on Sunday evening – the third highest in the world.

The Italian government announced Friday that the current foreclosure measures will remain in effect until May 3. However, bookstores, stationeries and children’s clothing stores will be allowed to reopen from Tuesday.

However, factories – which are a key driver of the Italian economy – are not yet allowed to open.


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