The park remained closed in Madrid, so runners and cyclists outside Retiro park in the capital used extensive roads as racetrack, occupying lanes that are normally used for traffic. Some buses and cars have to honk before they move.
The government insisted that the community maintain a social distance of 2 meters or 6 feet, especially runners and cyclists who were supposed to exercise alone, but CNN observed many people gathering together.
At 10:25 local time, a Madrid van pulled up next to the cyclist and an officer leaned out the window to shout: “You should have gone home half an hour ago. Half an hour ago!”
But the police did not stop issuing fines and left.
Starting today, people over the age of 14 can walk an hour, accompanied by one person, once a day within half a mile from their home, or exercise like riding a bicycle alone in their city. They are allowed to do this from 6 am to 10 am and starting at 8 pm. until 11 p.m.
The elderly get a turn later, with a special schedule to avoid crowds: from 10 am to 12 pm. and at night, from 7 pm to 8 pm
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez posted a message to Twitter on Saturday morning asking the attention of the Spaniards: “Today we are taking a new step in relaxing confinement but we need to do it with caution and responsibility. The virus is still there. We still need to follow guidelines for cleanliness and social distance, “he said.
The government has asked residents to wear masks if they cannot observe tight social distances.
Spain’s state of emergency, with the strictest containment rules in Europe, will continue until May 9. The new “relaxation” act gives most Spaniards more time every day outside their homes than since the lockdown began on March 14, after which only a short trip was allowed to shop for food and to the pharmacy.
From Monday, May 4, Spain will begin the “Zero Phase” of its transition to “new normality” as announced by Prime Minister Sánchez last week. Some shops will be allowed to open for a number of clients, only with appointments, and some restaurants will be allowed to open with limited takeaway services.
And as the government increasingly reduces containment measures installed due to viruses, the latest Spanish data shows the number of corona virus deaths for the country has reached 25,100 since the pandemic began. The number of new deaths reported was 276, representing a 1% increase from the previous day, Spain’s Director of Emergency Health, Fernando Simon, said during his daily briefing.
That is a slightly smaller increase from Friday when there were 281 new deaths.
The total number of cases confirmed by the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test was 216,582 while the new daily infections reported were 1,147 – an increase of 0.5% from the previous day, Simon added.
Simon stressed that Spain continued to be in a favorable trend but warned there were still risks because the country began the next phase of the de-escalation process.
Health ministry figures on Saturday reported the number of health workers infected with the virus was 41,785, with 546 cases reported since Friday.
Al Goodman writes from Spain, Helena De Moura in Atlanta and Claudia Rebaza in London.