People enjoy sunny weather at the beach in Barcelona. REUTERS

Spain’s national state of emergency has ended after three months of restrictions on movement to rein in its COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Sunday, 47 million Spaniards will be able to freely move around the entire country for the first time since the government declared a state of emergency on March 14. The lockdown measures have been rolled back gradually over recent weeks.

“This freedom that we now have, that we don’t have to justify our journey to see our family and friend, this was something that we were really looking forward to,” 23-year-old Pedro Delgado said at Madrid’s airport.

Travelers from European countries, including Britain, can also enter Spain now without having to quarantine for 14 days. That quarantine rule still applies to non-Schengen countries, except for the U.K. Spain is hoping it can save part of its summer tourist season, which provides a huge part of its economic activity.

Spaniards are still obliged to wear face masks both indoors and outside when in public spaces where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) from others. Regional governments are now in complete charge of putting limits on attendance in public places, from theaters, to weddings, to classrooms.

Spain’s lockdown succeeded in stopping the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, which authorities say has claimed at least 28,000 lives in the country.


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