People wearing protective masks walk along Barceloneta beach during their permitted exercise time slot, the first time such activity has been allowed since the lockdown was announced seven weeks ago - NACHO DOCE/Reuters

Spain has recorded its lowest daily death toll linked to coronavirus since 18 March, new figures from the health ministry show.

A total of 164 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the lowest number in over six weeks, while new cases of the virus rose to 217,466 from 216,582.

Experts caution that numbers collated at the weekend are sometimes lower but have said that the figures are favourable.

A total of 25,264 have died with coronavirus in Spain but the country has started to gradually ease restrictions. Adults were able to exercise outdoors on Saturday for the first time in seven weeks.

Spain will make the wearing of masks obligatory on public transport from Monday to help prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections as it begins lifting its strict lockdown measures.

The Madrid government, which had until now “highly recommended” the use of masks, will distribute six million across the country and supply another seven million to local authorities.

Announcing the measure on Saturday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “The virus is still with us. We need to respect the rules as well as the guidelines for hygiene and social distancing.”

It came as thousands of Spaniards flocked into streets, parks and squares to exercise for the first time in seven weeks after the government ended a prohibition on outdoor activity.

People ran, walked or rode bicycles and in Barcelona many flocked to the maritime promenade for a glimpse of the still closed beach. Others simply delighted in jogging around parks and neighbourhoods across the nation.

Some parts of industry were allowed to resume work in the past two weeks and children have been allowed out for a walk with one adult since last weekend, but Saturday’s move represented a significant step forward for Spaniards.

SOURCE: AEGCNCIES

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