“The most difficult part is behind us,” says Pedro Sánchez, President of Spain
A GUIDEPOST Report
Spain’s Prime Minister and President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, reiterated that the government’s priority during the COVID-19 crisis has been and will continue to be public health, and hence it is essential to wind down the confinement with prudence and responsibility. In his weekly press briefing from the Moncloa Palace on the evolution of the health crisis, he announced that “the great wave of the pandemic has now passed and all of Spain has gained a firm foothold in the transition towards the new normality.”
The spread of the virus has been halted. This is not due to luck, he underscored, but rather to the work of the healthcare professionals and the sacrifice of ordinary Spanish people who exercised extraordinary discipline and a determination to achieve victory. “The hardest part is over; the most difficult part is behind us. The light is clearer and we can now see light at the end of the tunnel,” Sanchez said
Thanks to this progress, the whole country moved on to Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the de-escalation on Monday, 25 May. This means that all the Spanish citizens and residents of the country can now reunite with their families and friends and that stores can gradually open their doors. “As a result, we will now recover a good part of what we lost when the virus so dramatically irrupted into our lives,” the President explained.
However, Sánchez warned that the virus has not gone away and the health emergency still exists. And so, therefore, it is “essential” to continue following the indications of the health authorities on washing hands, on maintaining social distancing and on the use of face masks: “Our motto must be to act without fear, but with extreme prudence and responsibility.”
The President reminded everyone that until such time as a COVID-19 vaccine or a therapeutic remedy is discovered, the control of potential outbreaks will continue to depend on individual and collective caution. He praised the regional authorities for balancing the wish to recover normality and caution in avoiding any relapses.
In the final stage of the de-escalation, Pedro Sánchez warned that it will still be necessary to maintain some restrictions on economic activity and limitations on the freedom of movement and of assembly to avoid the virus from re-spreading.
Sánchez pointed out the efficacy of the State of Alarm decreed by the Government last 14 March 2020. He said that when it was first implemented the daily growth rate of new coronavirus infections stood at 35%. Today, that rate has dropped to 0.19%.
“We will have tourism this summer”
Among the sectors that will gradually resume their activity, as per the President’s announcement, are bars, restaurants and tourism due to their fundamental role in the Spanish economy and job creation. “We will have a tourist season this summer,” he promised.
He invited all establishments related to tourism to get ready to resume their activity in a few days’ time and urged Spaniards to start planning their holidays to national destinations now, which many people will be able to enjoy at the end of June. He also announced that foreign tourists will be able to arrive starting in July. The support for the sector will be combined with “all due health guarantees” and a commitment to environmental sustainability.
Source: La Moncloa, Gobierno de España
Madrid, Saturday 23 May 2020
Featured image/Nacho Castejón Martínez, CC BY-SA2.0 via Flickr
Pedro Sánchez/Pool Moncloa-Borja Puig de la Bellacasa
Telematic press briefing by Fernando simon, Pool Moncloa-JM Cuadrado
Tourist in Barcelona/Mike McBey, CC BY2.0
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