OVIEDO, Spain 

Most of Spain’s regions assert readiness to ease lockdown measures against the coronavirus as Spain reported 213 more deaths and 754 new infections on Thursday.

The Health Ministry said that 26,070 people have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus, 221,447 people have been infected and 121,014 people have been hospitalized.

The rates of new deaths, infections and hospitalizations have reduced dramatically from a peak around a month ago.

Local governments across the country have now submitted reports to the central government about their readiness to further ease lockdown measures. All regions, with the exception parts of Catalonia, including Barcelona, and Castile and León, say they are ready to relax measures.

“We meet the health requirements, we can’t keep waiting,” Ignacio Aguado, vice-president of the region of Madrid — Spain’s worst-hit area — told Spanish Television. “We have to get used to living with COVID-19.”

On Thursday, Madrid confirmed 128 more hospitalizations, 86 new infections and 38 more deaths.

The Health Ministry is now looking at criteria related to the provincial healthcare capacity and epidemiological situations to decide which areas can move on.

The regions that are given the green light to progress will see restaurant terraces and shops open with limited capacity on Monday. Groups of up to 10 people will also be able to meet in homes or outdoors.

Four Spanish islands have already advanced to the next phase.

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