The death toll from the coronavirus in Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, moved past 20,000 on Saturday, the health ministry said.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s request to prolong the stay-at-home order to May 9 must still be signed off by parliament, but approval is considered all but certain after the opposition expressed support.
Sanchez said in a speech the extension was needed despite the steady progress being made to control the coronavirus outbreak.
For five weeks, Spain’s nearly 47 million citizens have been allowed to leave their homes in only a few exceptional cases – mainly to go to work, the doctor, or the grocery store.
Unlike in other countries, outdoor walks and sports are strictly prohibited.