MADRID, May 8 (Reuters) - The cities of Madrid and Barcelona will not pass to the next phase of Spain’s exit from the lockdown imposed in mid-March to control one of Europe’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus, Spanish Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon said on Friday.
The government is enacting a four-phase exit from the lockdown, depending on measures like the rate of infection in regions. The second stage allows bars, restaurants and places of worship to open with limited capacity.
Neither the region of Madrid nor the Barcelona metropolitan areas were deemed ready to loosen restrictions further. The highly populated regions of Madrid and Catalonia - home to Barcelona - account for around half of the confirmed infected cases in the country. (Reporting By Sonya Dowsett; editing by Clara-Laeila Laudette, Kirsten Donovan)