OVIEDO, Spain

As outdoor exercise was permitted for the first time in 48 days, Spain’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported 276 more COVID-19 deaths and 1,147 new infections. 

Both numbers were down slightly from Friday and far below the peak in early April. In total, at least 25,100 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in Spain and more than 216,500 cases have been confirmed.

Of the confirmed cases, 117,248 people have recovered – up 2,572 people from Friday.

Under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns since March 14, Spain has managed to flatten the curve of the contagion. On Friday, health authorities closed the country’s largest field hospital.

Now, the government is beginning to loosen stay-at-home orders.

Saturday was the first day in seven weeks that people could go outside for exercise.

The passing of time was made obvious by nature. Spring’s tepid entrance in mid-March has given way to the lush leaves and blossoms of May.

Many parks, trails, and city streets that were once off limits to most were full of people trying to maintain social distance and savor the first moment of freedom.

Some streets and trails were busy, but no major incidences of dense crowds were reported. Police were out supervising.

Not everyone is allowed out for exercise at the same time. The population is separated into three groups – adults, children, and senior citizens – who each have their own schedules.

On May 11, regions of Spain deemed to be ready based on health and infrastructure criteria will begin to ease the lockdown further with the opening of some commercial activities.

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