Exercise time slots to be removed for towns with fewer than 10,000 people

Spanish government to "reinforce" the use of masks in public and say community transmission is almost zero

A woman runs along a seafront promenade in Altafulla, May 2, 2020 (by Mar Rovira)
A woman runs along a seafront promenade in Altafulla, May 2, 2020 (by Mar Rovira) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 17, 2020 05:39 PM

The Spanish government is removing the set time slots for going out outside for a walk or exercise in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, as has been the case for municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants until now.

In larger towns, the timetable remains in force. In Phases 0 and 1, 6-10am and 8-11pm is for people between 14 and 70 to go out, 10am-12pm and 7-8pm is for dependent people and those over 70, and 12-7pm for children under 14, accompanied by an adult from their household.

Phase 2 sees more flexibility, with only the time slots for dependent people and those over 70 remaining.

In a press conference with Spanish government spokesperson María Jesús Montero, Spanish health minister, Salvador Illa, also announced that the executive will publish the technical reports that justify health regions advancing to the next phase of the lockdown de-escalation plan, once the whole of Spain has advanced to a particular phase, in order not to encourage "races" between various regions.

Therefore, when all territories have reached Phase 1 at least, the reports justifying staying in Phase 0 or advancing to Phase 1 will be made public, with further reports released successively in the following phases.

Asked about the use of masks in public spaces, Illa said that there was unanimous agreement to "reinforce" the obligation to wear them, but did not give specifics. Currently their use is mandatory on public transport. Earlier on Sunday, Catalan president Quim Torra had again called on Spain to make the use of facemasks obligatory.

Illa and Montero explained that the new measures are expected to be approved in the coming days.

Close to ending community transmission

The move to remove time slots was endorsed by Spain’s head of health emergencies, Fernando Simón. 

"The measure is appropriate as the vast majority of these towns have been in a good position for a while," he said on Sunday.

Simón also revealed that most new infections of coronavirus in Spain are concentrated exclusively in the health and socio-health fields. "We are very close to ending the community and home transmission of the virus."