Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he will ask Spain's Parliament for a final two-week extension of the nation's state of emergency that has allowed the government to take lockdown measures to control its coronavirus outbreak.
Sánchez says this will be “the last, definitive extension of 15 days.” The current state of emergency is set to expire on June 7. The government will ask for the extension in the coming days.
The lockdown measures have succeeded to reining in a COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed at least 27,000 lives in Spain.
Sánchez says this final stretch of the lockdown will include the handing back of control over health care to the regions that have shown the most progress in containing the virus.
“We have almost reached safe harbor,” Sánchez said.
The central government is slowing rolling back confinement measures depending on which areas have fewer infections and are better prepared for a possible second outbreak.
The focus is now on maintaining the virus in check while reactivating an economy that Sánchez's said will shrink by over 9% this year and take two years to recover.