COVID-19: Spain bids farewell to state of alarm

on Saturday reported 363 new cases, as the country prepares to drop its state of emergency at midnight.

The number of new infections is up just slightly from Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 245,938.

The death toll in Spain also increased by seven from yesterday to reach 28,322.

When the state of emergency expires, the country's borders will be reopened to Europe and free movement within the country will resume for the first time since March 14.

Spain's lockdown was, at times, one of the strictest in the world, and has managed to bring down deaths and new infections significantly.

"We were hit hard, but we resisted," said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in a televised speech on Saturday.

"Thanks to the state of alarm, we saved 450,000 lives in our country," Sanchez added.

He appealed to citizens to keep their guards up.

"The virus could return and catch us in a second wave," the premier said, adding: "We have to avoid it at all costs. We will be vigilant."

With the end of the state of emergency, each Spanish region will take the leads from the central government to decide which restrictions will remain locally.

Areas like Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country are already debuting the "new normal," but Madrid will continue with some lockdown restrictions.

Throughout the country, masks will remain mandatory whenever 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) of distance cannot be kept between people.



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