Tuesday is to be declared the start of an official 10-day period of mourning for victims of the coronavirus crisis in Spain.
The whole country is now in either Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the de-escalation of the coronavirus restrictions that began on March 14 to curb the spread of the virus.
On Monday the Ministry of Health reduced the total number of fatalities nationwide by almost 2,000 to 26,834 deaths due to duplications or unconfirmed cases that Communities had reported, according to Fernando Simón, Director of the Health Alerts Coordination Centre.
The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez announced the period of mourning during a statement broadcast from Palacio de la Moncloa on Saturday, saying "Spanish society has stopped the worst health calamity of the last century.”
During the longest official mourning in the history of Spanish democracy, flags on public buildings and navy ships will fly at half mast.
Sánchez said that the victims of the pandemic deserve to be remembered as a tribute to coexistence and harmony. "We must live together in the same country they built,” he said, adding that a big tribute and other commemorations in the near future will be presided over by King Philip VI.
The official mourning comes amid a deep confrontation between the Government and the main opposition party, the Popular Party (PP), over its handling of the State of Emergency and extensions and an agreement signed with EH Bildu last week to repeal Labour Reform.
The PP Leader, Pablo Casado, claims the official mourning period is just a "smokescreen" to try to cover up the controversial Labour Reform agreement.