By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
The measures are part of efforts to curb the country’s coronavirus pandemic that authorities say killed nearly 28,000 people.
Starting Thursday, only children under six and people with health issues are exempt from wearing masks both indoors and outdoors in public.
Many European countries made wearing masks a requirement on public transport, but the Spanish decree goes further. It already enforced the wearing of masks on public transport and is now strengthening the rules across the population.
Spain’s government says it is only slowly relaxing one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged Parliament to allow him the fifth two-week extension to the state of emergency, which is currently set to expire on Sunday.
He said the cabinet government wants to extend it until June 7. “The path we are on is the only one that can possibly beat the virus.”
He spoke to a handful of legislators to limit contagion risks. “Thanks to all the parliament members who have supported the state of emergency because, with their vote, they have saved thousands of lives,” the prime minister added.
Though Spain has seen one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe, the government is battling growing resistance to its handling of the crisis.
Amid demonstrations, Spain began loosening the two-month lockdown last week. But it is allowing only up to ten people to gather together and enabling bars and restaurants to open up outdoor tables. However, large cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, were mainly blocked from this lockdown lifting plan after they were deemed to be still at risk of an increase in infections.
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