Spain's daily virus toll hikes slightly with 378 new deaths


The authorization of outdoor spells for children comes as Spain registered its lowest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths in more than a month.

Children in Spain were on Sunday allowed to play outside for the first time in six weeks as the country gradually eases down its lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike most other countries, since imposing a lockdown on March 14, Spain has not allowed anyone out for walks, jogs or bike rides, allowing them to leave home only to buy food or medicine, briefly walk the dog or for a medical emergency.

"It has been very good for me to get out", said Ricardo, 6, after a runaround in Madrid with his younger sister.

Madrid and Catalonia, the country's economic heartlands and the hardest-hit regions by the outbreak, could be among the last areas to go back to normality, as the Health Ministry Salvador Illa said the government may be lifting restrictions in less affected territories first.

However from Sunday, under-14s can go out once a day, for one hour between 9:00am and 9:00pm, accompanied by one parent - and no further than one kilometre from their home.

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"We are going to see how things evolve before we decide how different professions will resume activities", he said.

Spain's Health Ministry could not immediately confirm the figures to Reuters.

For both her and Miguel Lopez, this easing of the rules would have been welcome earlier but they understand the caution of the authorities, desperate to avoid any resurgence of the disease. We must have a common strategy.

All Spaniards will be allowed out for exercise and to take walks from next weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday.

Sánchez also announced that he would present a detailed plan on the "de-escalation" of the lockdown on Tuesday that he hopes to put into effect in the coming weeks.