More than 10,000 Civil Guard checkpoints as well as those operated by local police forces plus blocks of concrete at the entrances of some Spanish municipalities with high numbers of holidays homes, look to have dissuaded people tempted to break lockdown and get to their second residences for the Easter weekend.
General secretary for transport, María José Rallo said traffic jams seen on the roads leading out of big cities such as Madrid earlier this week were due to the checkpoints.
3,090 drivers were fined on Thursday alone, a figure that tallies with the average daily number of such sanctions imposed since the state of alarm was introduced in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The death toll curve in Spain flattened further yesterday as the government prepared to start easing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns and virtual Easter celebrations are being planned instead of traditional processions.
Spain has suffered 15,843 fatalities from COVID-19, the third worst toll after Italy and the United States.
The number of daily deaths fell to 605, the lowest figure since March 24, and the rate of increase has dropped to 4%, down from 20% two weeks ago.
But the slowdown in the rate of infection and death has enabled officials to consider a gradual lifting of the lockdown.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government is preparing new scenarios for de-escalation but it will depend on complex analysis of the epidemic’s evolution.
Even though several officials have said the formal lockdown will probably continue until May 10th, some restrictions are to be lifted on Monday to breathe life into the paralysed economy.
From then, workers in some sectors such as construction will be allowed out again and some factories will reopen.
María José Sierra, deputy head of Spain’s health emergency committee, said though many people will return to work, social distancing should be maintained.
She said most importantly if anyone shows the slightest symptoms, they should contact the health system and remain in self-isolation.