News World Free at last! Spaniards get outside to exercise after 49 days of...

Free at last! Spaniards get outside to exercise after 49 days of lockdown

Joggers and cyclists across Spain emerged from their homes early on Saturday, with adults allowed out for exercise for the first time in seven weeks as the government began easing coronavirus restrictions.

In Barcelona, runners and cyclists crowded paths near the beach, while surfers and paddle-boarders were out enjoying the waves.

Mar Visser, 45, who lost her job as an events organiser, was jogging along the path in Castelldefels, a town near Barcelona.

“I have been longing for this. It beats running in my house or doing yoga or Pilates inside,” she said.

In Madrid, cyclists and skateboarders streamed along the city’s wide boulevards, ducking under police tape set up to prevent people congregating in common areas.

Hit by one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, Spain imposed a strict lockdown in March, confining most of the population to their homes for all but essential trips.

Sports and recreational walks were banned as authorities scrambled to stop the disease from spreading and ease the burden on the stricken healthcare system.

Charlotte Fraser-Prynne, 41, a British government affairs consultant, was among the first to savour the new freedom to exercise – out for a run at 6 a.m. near the city’s Retiro Park.

While the park remained closed, hundreds of people were running on the pavement around it.

“I have been looking forward to this for weeks. I was joking with my friends that I would be the first out in Madrid. I am very happy to be out after six weeks of yoga videos,” she said.

As the rate of infection has fallen and hospitals have regained their footing, the government has shifted its focus towards reopening the country and reviving the economy.

Last weekend, children under 14 were allowed out for an hour a day of supervised activity.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a four-phase plan to return the country to what he termed “the new normality” by the end of June.

To avoid overcrowding as people get outside, the government has implemented a shift system, allocating different time slots to different age groups.

Businesses that operate by appointment, such as hairdressers, will be allowed to open from Monday. Bars and restaurants will remain closed for at least another week.

Spain has recorded a death toll of 24,824 from the illness, and more than 215,000 cases.

The lockdown has hammered the economy and the government expects gross domestic product (GDP) to contract 9.2% in 2020.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

FM Christodoulides in self-isolation following confirmed case of close associate

  Foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides has become the fourth minister to go into covid self-isolation, following a confirmed case among his close associates. Christodoulides went into...

Concern over rise of covid hospital cases to 38, four critical-new infections over 100

  The Health Ministry today announced 113 new COVID-19 cases, out of 3,112 diagnostic tests, taking confirmed infections to 3,930. The health ministry has expressed concern...

Germany to go into circuit-break lockdown as virus cases surge

  Germany will impose an emergency month-long lockdown that includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres to reverse a spike in coronavirus cases that...

1547-Highest ever number of new covid cases in Greece-deaths on the rise

  Greece recorded one thousand five hundred and forty seven new coronavirus  cases over the past 24 hours, the highest ever number since the start...

Huge 8500 euro fine for unmarked tobacco products

  A twenty nine year old was fined 8 and a half thousand euro for unmarked tobacco products that were discovered by police at his...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...