Spain Continues With Reopening, Reporting No New Deaths for First Time Since March

Many big tourist attractions have reopened or are set to reopen this week.

woman wearing face mask walking
Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/Getty

For the first time since March, Spain reported no recorded deaths of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period.

The news Monday evening was “very, very encouraging,” emergency health response chief Fernando Simón told The Associated Press. In the past 24 hours, there have only been 71 new reported cases.

Spain reported its first two coronavirus deaths on March 3. By April 2, it hit its peak of 950 deaths in 24 hours, despite enacting one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. By early May, Spain began easing restrictions and transitioning to “a new normal.”

About 70 percent of the country is now in phase two of its four-phase reopening plan, according to El Pais, allowing people to go outside for however long they wish.

But Spanish officials reiterated that they are not in the clear from coronavirus worries. The most recent reported spikes are from hotspots where people are holding unauthorized fiestas and could cause a resurgence of the virus.

“We are still at risk. Any of these outbreaks can mean a new wave of infections,” Simón told The Associated Press. “We must remain cautious.”

Spain’s lockdown is being eased in gradual phases. Nearly all of the country’s beaches are now opened, many with social-distancing measures in place on the sands. And many big tourist attractions have reopened or are set to reopen this week, including the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Prado and Reina Sofia museums in Madrid.

guests scan phones at museum entrance
A person scans their entry from their mobile phone with a QR code on the day the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao reopens its facilities after the coronavirus shutdown. Europa Press News/Getty

But Spain said it will not reopen to tourism until it can guarantee that visitors will not contract COVID-19 within its borders. “It’s not a question of being the first in reopening but to reopen knowing we guarantee the health not only of residents but also of visitors,” Industry and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told Telecinco TV.

Throughout its coronavirus outbreak, Spain reported 239,638 confirmed cases — currently the highest in Europe — and 27,127 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Elsewhere in Europe, countries like Greece and Cyprus are reopening to European tourists over the coming weeks. The European Commission will not allow foreigners inside until June 15 at the earliest.

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