4th August 2020
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez
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Coronavirus in Spain full update (26 April)

Click here for today’s full report: Coronavirus in Spain (5 May)

ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases

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Report below updated in Spain at 11.15h on Sunday 26 April.

The latest official figures* released by Spain’s Health Ministry in Madrid at 11h on Sunday 26 April confirm that 23,190 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 288 on yesterday – the lowest figure since 20 March.

Saturday had seen an increase of 378 Coronavirus-related deaths over Friday. Friday had been an increase of 367 over Thursday. Thursday had been 440.

In a televised address on Saturday evening, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that adults in Spain will be able to leave home for individual physical exercise and walks from next Saturday 2 May, ‘if the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner’ (see full report below).

Today, Sunday, up to three children under the age of 14 accompanied by an adult, guardian or elder sibling in Spain are now being allowed out for an hour a day to walk and exercise (also see full details below).

The current peak of recorded deaths related to Coronavirus in a 24-hour period in Spain was on 2 April, when 950 deaths were registered.

The Health Ministry has recently changed its criteria for the way the data of those infected with Coronavirus is presented. Figures released on Sunday 26 April show a total figure of those who have only tested positive through a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. That figure is 207,634 – an increase of 1,729 over yesterday.

The current peak of recorded infections for a 24-hour period in Spain was on 31 March, when 9,222 new cases were registered.

98,732 people have now made a full recovery, an increase of 3,024.

With regards the official figures released by the central Health Ministry for each region of Spain, it is important to note that there have been discrepancies in the data released independently by some of those regions, particularly for Madrid and Catalonia. Please refer to *Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies below.

Of the official figures released by the ministry today – and based only on the total 207,634 confirmed cases through PCR testing – there are now 59,126 cases in the Madrid region and where 7,922 have died (from the total 23,190 across the country). There are now 46,811 cases in Catalonia and where 4,566 have died.

There are now 12,455 known cases in the Basque Country (1,230 deaths), 11,774 in Andalusia (1,145), 15,609 in Castilla La Mancha (2,330) and 10,160 in the Valencia region (1,186).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions* are now as follows: Aragón 4,955 (712 deaths), Asturias 2,249 (249 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,854 (175), Canary Islands 2,167 (131), Cantabria 2,083 (183), Castilla y León 16,222 (1,666), Ceuta 100 (4), Extremadura 2,736 (422), Galicia 9,176 (394), Melilla 110 (2), Murcia 1,474 (127), Navarra 4,712 (431) and La Rioja 3,861 (315).

A full breakdown in Spanish of the data per region, together with age group statistics can be found by clicking here. Please also see ‘Health Ministry data and discrepancies’ below.

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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during his televised address on 25 April 2020. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN 

Relaxation of restrictions

In a televised address on Saturday evening, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that adults in Spain will be able to leave home for individual physical exercise and walks from next Saturday 2 May, ‘if the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner’.

Today, Sunday, up to three children under the age of 14 accompanied by an adult, guardian or elder sibling in Spain are now being allowed out for an hour a day to walk and exercise.

Sánchez said that if the Coronavirus toll in Spain continues to fall, then restrictions will also be relaxed next Saturday to allow adults out to exercise alone, and for people living together to be allowed to take short walks together.

‘If we act with prudence,’ said Sánchez on Saturday evening, ‘this first relief measure will be followed by another one a week later. If the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner, starting on 2 May outings will be allowed for individual activity and for walks with the people that we live with.’

Sánchez said that the relaxation of the confinement measures would take place throughout May and that ‘we will then see what happens in the month of June’. The Spanish prime minister reiterated his government’s plans to loosen the lockdown at different speeds across different regions of Spain, only where they met with six key requirements established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The six key recommendations from WHO are a controlled transition and the identification of those infected with Coronavirus – as well as the identification of those that they have made contact with; strict controls for areas with a higher risk of infection; preventive measures at work, schools and universities; and for the public to continue to follow hygiene recommendations as well as social distancing.

‘We will not suddenly recover activity across all sectors,’ said Sánchez. ‘The deescalation has to be gradual and asymmetric … We won’t all advance at the same pace but we will follow the same rules.’

‘We will do it at different speeds depending on [the situation] of the pandemic in each place, in an asymmetric but coordinated fashion. We will do it as a team,’ he said.

‘I would like to convey to you the importance of being cautious,’ added Sánchez. ‘This is not a race to see who is the first to reopen a shopping mall or a small business establishment.’

The Spanish Congress on Wednesday 22 April voted to extend the official ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until Saturday 9 May – although relaxing some of the restrictions to allow children the opportunity to leave the confinement of their homes from Sunday 26 April.

Spain originally commenced its lockdown for two weeks from 14 March, with measures that confined everyone to their homes apart from leaving to purchase food or medication, or to go to their place of work only if they could not perform their duties from home. After one week, these initial measures were then extended until 12 April, then for a second time until 26 April – and now until 9 May.

From Monday 30 March, further new measures ordered all non-essential workers in Spain to also remain at home until after Easter. Following the Easter break, industrial and construction workers, as well as non-essential employees in sectors where working from home wasn’t possible, started a gradual return to work.

Children allowed out on walks from today

Up to three children under the age of 14 accompanied by an adult are to be allowed out for an hour a day (and once a day) from today, Sunday 26 April.

The relaxing of the confinement restrictions for children are part of the new measures of the country’s extension of the lockdown until 9 May.

Children should not leave home if they have shown or are currently showing any symptoms of Coronavirus, nor if they have been in contact with anyone with symptoms or who has been diagnosed as being infected with Covid-19, if that person has not since completed 14 days of quarantine.

Children under 14 will not be allowed outside alone. Any daily walks with adults should not be further than one kilometre away from the home. Children will be able to exercise and run, however, as long as they continue to respect social distancing. A minimum of 2m should be maintained from other people. It is not compulsory for children to wear face masks, but it is recommended.

Children's play area
A children’s play area on the beach promenade in Sitges still sealed off on 24 April 2020. (Photo Tim Parfitt)

The daily walk will only be allowed between 9am to 9pm – and that ‘peak hours’ should be avoided. The adult accompanying the children must be someone who lives with them – either a parent or guardian, or an elder brother or sister who is over the age of 18.

The walks and exercise can be taken in public open ‘green spaces’ and squares, as well as community gardens – but access to walk on the beaches is still prohibited in most regions of Spain (see below).

The decision to use the community gardens must be taken by the residential or property’s administrator.

Sports facilities as well as children’s playgrounds and play areas will remain closed. Children are allowed to play with balls or use skateboards and scooters, but only if they respect the 2m social distancing with others.

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said that 6m children across Spain will benefit from the new rules.

‘These supervised outings will have numerous beneficial effects on our children, both physical and emotional, especially in those who live in the most vulnerable households,’ said Illa. ‘Not all homes have the same conditions and not all lifestyles are the same. As a result, this is also an equality measure.’

Beach restrictions differ in regions

With the restrictions being lifted for children, there are also different rules being implemented in the different regions of Spain with regards access to the beaches. The local police in Barcelona (the Guàrdia Urbana) have reminded citizens that the Catalan capital’s beaches are still closed, and that the use of children’s play areas alongside them are also not permitted. They have also stated that the city’s 148 parks and gardens remain closed.

Meanwhile the City Council of Marbella in Andalucia, has said that children accompanied by their parents, who live one kilometre or less from the beaches, are able to walk along them, ‘although bathing is still prohibited’.

Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella, tweeted that ‘we still have a red flag on all the beaches on the coast. Each adult may be accompanied by up to a maximum of three children to walk, without bathing and with a maximum of 1 km away from home.’

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*Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies

The Spanish Health Ministry has not been giving complete figures for the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) for over 10 days, because some of Spain’s 17 regions had been using different methods to collate these figures. There had also been discrepancies in how some of the regions had been collating the statistics for the number of deaths from Coronavirus.

In Catalonia, for example, the regional health department had only previously been counting figures for those who had died in hospitals. This was then changed to include data provided by funeral homes, which includes those who have died not only in hospitals but also in nursing homes, social health centres or elderly residences, as well as at home.

Last Friday, following discrepancies in the way that data has been collated, the Spanish government published an order in its Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)to clarify the criteria that must be used.

All regions must now report deaths and ICU admissions in the same way. A victim can only be counted in the death tally if they have tested positive for Covid-19 via a PCR (polymerase chain reaction testing) or rapid test. The same applies to confirmed infections.

The Health Ministry has also requested that each region send in the total number of infections divided into symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. In addition, they also require the number of PCR tests carried out from each region, the total number of people that have required hospital treatment, including intensive care, as well as the number of patients who have been discharged.

Salvador Illa, the Spanish Health Minister, has said that, ‘Spain is following a very strict definition of cases in line with international authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and then dies is considered a Coronavirus fatality’.

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Below are the numbers to call for each region of Spain for information and assistance in the event of possible cases of Coronavirus – as issued by the Spanish health authorities.

Numbers to call
The numbers to call for each region of Spain.

Click here for further information (in Spanish) regarding Coronavirus from the Spanish Health Ministry.

Up-to-date WHO advice and facts (in English) about the Coronavirus epidemic can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance.

Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 April)

ALSO READ: Opinion: why bullfights should stay cancelled after Covid-19

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 April)

ALSO READ: Spain votes to extend lockdown to 9 May. Children to be allowed out

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 April)

ALSO READ: Spanish government: children can go with adults to supermarkets, but not parks

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (21 April)

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez seeks cross-party ‘Moncloa Pact’ for recovery programme

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (20 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 April)

ALSO READ: Co-Vida: an inspiring community action project

ALSO READ: One day more, one day less

ALSO READ: ‘Up on the Roof’ – surviving lockdown from above

ALSO READ: Open Arms refugee NGO helping to combat Coronavirus

ALSO READ: When can La Liga restart?

ALSO READ: Lockdown in Spain set to be extended until 26 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain: unemployment figures worst on record

ALSO READ: FC Barcelona players agree to 70% pay cut, and will ensure staff receive 100%

ALSO READ: Animal rights NGO starts petition against possible state aid for cancelled bullfights

ALSO READ: Spain publishes list of hotels that will remain open

ALSO READ: Video of boy training as goalkeeper in isolation goes viral

ALSO READ: The new restrictions at Spain’s airports, ports and land borders

ALSO READ: Madrid starts receiving patients at IFEMA exhibition centre ‘hospital’

ALSO READ: Walking a goat or a Vietnamese pig is not allowed

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain – full advice for British travellers seeking to return to the UK

ALSO READ: ‘This virus we will stop together’ – video 

ALSO READ: Despite lockdown, Spaniards applaud health workers from balconies every evening

Editor’s note: 

At Spain in English we’re always keen to also publish positive stories and features about life in Spain – not just the current news. With all cultural and sporting events currently on hold, as well as travel and gastronomic excursions, we welcome on-going contributions from all of you who’d like to send us articles for publication. Although we are unable to currently pay for contributions, we will certainly credit you and share the articles across our social media network (if of interest) – and/or also link to your own blogs or other sites. We currently welcome upbeat, positive and fun articles – perhaps how you’re coping with the ‘lockdown’ in your own area of Spain – or how your community is responding, or recommendations of help to others. We have a dedicated ‘Opinion, Blogs & Spanish Experiences‘ section where your articles will appear. We will edit for clarity and length only – and we reserve the right to not publish. Articles should be sent via email to editorial@spainenglish.com (preferably with a photo and credit details), and should be around 500 words (800 to 1,000 max). We will try to respond to everyone, but please be patient with us. We’re a very small team but with big ambitions! Please stay safe. Thank you for reading and following us.

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