Over half of Spainís 17 autonomous regions have loosened COVID-19 restrictions over the past week following a national normalization plan to re-open the country for business.
However, regional health authorities in Catalonia have asked the central government to keep the metropolitan area of Barcelona out of the four-phase plan for now. Catalonia says the capital remains a moderate to high risk region due to its population density.
On Friday, the Spanish government approved the Catalan de-confinement plan. It maintains restrictions to movement, social gathering and travel within and outside of Barcelona, though public access to libraries, museums and places of worship are eased.
Spainís capital Madrid remains the nationís hardest-hit region with COVID-19. Local officials have asked the government for authorization to implement the first phase of easing restrictions. But their request has been rejected by health authorities.
The Spanish government is now mulling the mandatory use of masks in public spaces in Madrid as it is reportedly also seeking the oppositionís support to further extend the state of emergency there.
While most Barcelonians are eager to regain some semblance of normality, they are also aware that reopening too soon may waste all their efforts--over the past two months--to fend off the collapse of their health care system.
SOURCE: PRESS TV