Coronavirus: Spain enjoys first freedom to exercise for weeks



A cyclist in Madrid: the Spanish again feel a great sense of freedom

Spanish adults are jogging and cycling again for the first time after seven weeks of coronavirus lockout.

The lock – one of the strictest in Europe – was relaxed for children a week ago, but the duration of outdoor exercise remains limited.

There are now exercise slots for different age groups. Most adults can walk or exercise between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The official death toll in Spain is 24,824, but the death rate has dropped.

Italy has the highest mortality rate in Europe, followed by the United Kingdom and Spain.

Riders and cyclists on trails in Barcelona sat on the beach on Saturday, the Reuters news agency reported.

In Madrid, residents expressed their relief that they can finally exercise outdoors. “Happy, we feel free! Susana Piego told Reuters.

Jesus Gutierrez said “it is fundamental for physical and mental health, it is fundamental for enabling people to play sports”.

Since March 14, people are only allowed to leave the house to buy food or medicine, to go to work if homework is not possible, or to take the dog for a short walk.


Barcelona’s seaside walks are again busy

A normal Saturday? Not enough

Guy Hedgecoe, BBC News, Madrid

The Spanish have taken advantage of the latest easing of the national lockdown, as they have taken to the streets en masse since early this morning.

The lifting of exercise restrictions for adults allowed thousands of joggers, walkers and cyclists to get out of Madrid and other cities outright for the first time in seven weeks.

In many areas, the large number of people who took to the streets made it almost like a normal Saturday morning, but social distancing was observed and few cars were on the roads.

Other sports were also practiced. In the southern province of Cadiz, surfers returned to the water this morning, although regular swimming is still prohibited.

Some, however, remain reluctant to venture out.

“I want to go out because it’s a beautiful day,” said Carmen Pérez, 65, in Madrid. “But I’m a little afraid of being infected. “

Until last week, Spain was the only country in Europe where children under the age of 14 could not leave home at all.

From noon to 7:00 p.m., only children aged 14 and under are allowed to go out, accompanied by an adult. The remaining slots are reserved for the elderly and vulnerable.

Teens 14 and older can go out and exercise once in one of the adult slot machines.

Video caption

Children in Spain allowed to go out for the first time in six weeks

Closures in other European countries are also eased, although social distancing remains in effect. Some countries require that the mask be worn in shops and on public transport.

From Monday, passengers traveling by Eurostar from the UK will be required to wear a mask or face cover, in accordance with the directives of the French and Belgian governments.

Any type of mask is suitable, says Eurostar, as long as it effectively covers the nose and mouth. Those without masks can be refused the trip.

Eurostar has considerably reduced its services between London, Paris and Brussels, with four trains running daily.

In Austria, small stores reopened two weeks ago, but all stores are now allowed to restart. Hairdressers and beauty salons are also licensed to operate.

Hungary allows business travel from certain countries.

And in Germany, churches, museums and playgrounds will open on Monday.

Meanwhile, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar presented a plan to reopen the economy of his country.

On May 18, outside workers, including builders, are scheduled to resume work. The DIY and hardware stores will reopen.

From that date, Varadkar said, it would be possible to meet friends and family in small groups outside, and certain sports activities would be allowed, always in small groups.


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