BRITISH expats on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca in Spain will breathe a sigh of relief that the Madrid government has announced that the tough lockdown will loosen after May 9.
The country has been operating under State of Alarm laws for over five weeks, but President Pedro Sanchez told the Madrid parliament this morning (April 22) that changes are coming.
Sanchez did warn that tougher restrictions would return if Covid-19 case numbers started to shoot up, as opposed to slowing down as they are now.
Without going into specifics, Sanchez said that the lockdown measures would be reduced slowly and gradually to ensure the safety of everybody.
He was speaking at a parliamentary session convened to approve the extension of the State of Alarm measures through to May 9.
A loosening will already start next week with parents allowed to take their children aged 14 and under for a short walk, or to the supermarket or pharmacy.
Non-essential workers were allowed to return last week after they were ordered to stay at home for a fortnight.
A more general loosening of lockdown measures will begin after May 9, but Sanchez warned not to expect a blanket-lifting of measures with everything returning to what it was like before.
“Any reduction in measures will be slow and gradual because the coronavirus crisis will not be ended until a vaccine is discovered and then developed,” Sanchez said.
“We are making the announcement on loosening restrictions in a cautiously optimistic situation in what will be a new normal.”
The Spanish leader also emphasised that the Health Ministry will oversee the deregulation of the current lockdown rules, and will have the power to make any changes to tighten up or relax orders depending on how many new cases of coronavirus are reported.