For a second day in a row, Spanish health officials are reporting 164 new confirmed deaths from the coronavirus, the lowest daily death toll in six weeks, to a total of 25,428.
The figures came as a respite for a country that has spent seven weeks under a strict lockdown and that on Monday entered the first stage of its 4-phase lockdown rollback, expected to span over nearly two months.
People ventured out for the first time for haircuts, buying glasses or food take-outs, activities that are allowed on the condition of a pre-existing appointment. Many small shops were still closed, as business owners worked on preparing to meet the strict health and hygiene guidelines that the government only published on Sunday.
Face masks are also mandatory on public transport and the government is distributing 14 million of them at major transportation hubs.
Political tension in the country is on the rise as opposition parties critical of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's handling of the crisis threaten to block extending further the state of emergency in a parliamentary vote later this week.