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This week's lifting of the total lockdown in Catalonia is "an imposed situation". That's how the Catalan health minister Alba Vergés described the scenario which will require many workers to return to their jobs on Tuesday. Precisely because of the Spanish government's easing of the strict confinement of the last fortnight, which takes real effect in Catalonia tomorrow since Easter Monday is a holiday, she called on the public to continue reporting any symptoms they may have of coronavirus using the Catalan government's mobile application. "We ask that those who have symptoms report their status using the STOP COVID19 CAT app and that way we can follow the development of more than 100,000 people," she said. She also emphasized that "it is important for companies and workers to monitor possible symptoms".

In fact, in reference to the return to work on Tuesday, she said that some experts have advised the Catalan authorities that the lifting of restrictions should begin 14 days after the curve has reached its peak rate of infection. "The experts continue to recommend to us that the first easing of the confinement measures should take place 14 days after the peak. That's why we don't agree with the measures taken by the Spanish government," she said.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, minister Vergés said "we assume the responsibility that we have to the citizens and so we are explaining with transparency the safest way to protect the health of every individual and of everybody collectively." She emphasized the need to maintain basic measures such as washing hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. "Hand cleaning is vital and must be done frequently," she reiterated.

Will children be able to go outside?

Children are now beginning their fifth week of being required to stay inside their homes under the lockdown declared across Spain. The Catalan minister emphasized that her government was concerned about "the emotional situation" of children. "If we decide that children should be able to go outside, we need to be clear on how they have to do that," she said. So, for the moment, that question has yet to be specifically answered.

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