Spain’s lockdown to be lifted after 98 days

Spains state of alarm, the emergency mechanism propping up the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19, will expires midnight on Saturday, 98 days after it first came into effect.

In an unprecedented situation during the country’s history, the days under lockdown in Spain progressed at varying speeds, reports Efe news.

But with the gradual easing of restrictions several weeks ago, life has slowly returned to the streets, squares, shops, highways, factories, offices, bars and beaches up and down the country.

On March 14, prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s government turned to the constitution to enact the state of alarm.

It was only the second time in Spain’s modern democratic era that such an extraordinary move had been deemed necessary.

Back in 2010, the government took similar measures during the air traffic controllers’ strike, but the emergency mechanism only lasted 15 days.

The COVID-19 state of alarm was also initially imposed for 15 days but was eventually extended six times.

The virus is still active in the country and the government has warned people not to let their guard down.

From midnight Spain enters what politicians around the world have billed the “new normality”.

The state of alarm will be lifted but social-distancing, hygiene protocol and obligatory mask use will remain in force until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Spain as of Saturday stood at 245,575, with 28,315 deaths.