Positive signs: Only 179 new deaths in Spain after beginning lockdown exit

Spain's latest coronavirus figures have dropped by a quarter in a promising sign that the country will be able to ease out of lockdown. Data released by the Ministry of Health this morning revealed that there were now 223,578 positive cases of Covid-19 - an increase of just 721 on Friday compared to 1,410 the day before. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ The figures are the lowest increases for a week, but have also reduced to levels similar to the start of the outbreak in March. They appear to indicate that the Spanish Government's exit strategy is working as more than half of the country prepares to enter phase one on Monday. Churches can also partially open, as well as museums to a third capacity, outdoor markets and some cultural events. There will be four stage in all, finishing towards the end of June when Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says the start of the 'new norm' will have been reached. The Spanish Government says it has yet to meet all the criteria in a decision which has angered the capital and led to at least one political resignation. Pubs, restaurants and hotels on the Costa del Sol are fuming after the Spanish government also them permission to re-open on Monday. The Ministry of Health said they were 'not ready' due to the incidence of coronavirus but has promised they can 'move forward' in the next ten days or so. But hotspots in Malaga, which include Marbella, are livid that other holiday destination such as Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria - in fact, all of the Canaries - as well as Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca got the go-ahead yesterday to enter phase one. Some of the businesses on the Costa del Sol had previously indicated that they might not open anyway because it wasn't viable due to the lack of tourists and the space restrictions. Head of the emergency committee, Fernando Simon has indicated that Malaga and Granada are 'nearly there' and he will be reviewing the situation following meetings next week. President of the Malaga hoteliers' association, Javier Frutos said it was 'bad news' as they had already made the arrangements to open, with staff etc, and might now have to wait another week at least. Malaga's leader, Francisco Salado, who is also the head of tourism on the Costa del Sol, said: 'We cannot hide our disappointment. It's difficult to understand that more rural areas with better data are still in phase zero, as is the case in most of the municipalities of the Malaga province.' Marbella's Mayor, Angeles Munoz said she was very surprised about the decision and said it created a negative image of Costa del Sol's reputation when it was singled out against other tourist destinations. Local business owners say the decision is like having a 'jug of water thrown over us' Around half of Spain's population is able to move into phase one of the government's staged winding down of Covid-19 restrictions.  Related: FAQs: Facts about COVID-19 as per World Health Organization [Microsoft GES] (Pictured) The Public Service Hall is disinfected to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in Tbilisi, Georgia, on March 3.  Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Older people, and those with underlying medicalproblems likehigh blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. (Pictured) A health personnel monitors body temperature of passengers who arrived in a flight from Milan, Italy, in Balice, Poland, on Feb. 26. Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.  (Pictured) A pedestrian wears a face mask in Toronto, Canada, on Jan. 29.  The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in feces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. (Pictured) Bruce Aylward, team leader of the joint mission between WHO and China on COVID-19, speaks at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 25.  (Pictured) A sign reminding people to wash their hands is seen outside a dormitory at the Washington State Patrol Fire Training Academy in North Bend, U.S., on Feb. 6.  The risk depends on where you live or where you have traveled recently. For people in most other parts of the world, your risk of getting COVID-19 is currently low,however, it’s important to be aware of the situation and preparedness efforts in your area. Your healthcare provider, your national public health authority and your employer are all potential sources ofaccurateinformation on COVID-19 and whether it is in your area. (Pictured) Indians who were air-lifted from Wuhan following the outbreak wait to collect release certificates at a quarantine facility in New Delhi on Feb. 17. (Pictured) A customer checks face masks at a pharmacy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 3.  Not yet. (Pictured) A researcher works in a laboratory to develop a vaccine at Philipps-University Marburg in Germany on Jan. 31.  People with no respiratory symptoms, such as cough, do not need to wear a medical mask. (Pictured) Workers pack protective face masks in Ahmedabad, India, on Feb. 3.  The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. (Pictured) Workers set up beds at an exhibition center that was converted into a hospital in Wuhan on Feb. 4.  Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19. (Pictured) Dogs wearing masks are seen in a stroller in Shanghai, China, on Feb. 19.  It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity ofthe environment). (Pictured) A professional in protective gear sprays antiseptic solution in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 26. (Pictured) Employees sort parcels at a Russian Post logistical center in Moscow on Feb. 5.  The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful: In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.