Spain's daily coronavirus death toll dropped to 288, the lowest since 20 March, as the country eased its lockdown to allow children outside for the first time in six weeks.

Spain's total death toll is now 23,190, the third highest number of deaths after the United States and Italy.

Spanish children were allowed out on Sunday for the first time since 14 March as the government eased one of the world's toughest coronavirus lockdowns.

Unlike other countries, only adults had been allowed to leave the house to buy food, medicine, briefly walk the dog or seek urgent medical care.  

Now children under the age of 14 are allowed out for up to an hour a day, accompanied by one parent, to walk, run or play in an area no further than 1km from their home.

Today, children took to the streets of Madrid to enjoy their newfound freedom after weeks under lockdown.

Some rollerbladed while others rode bikes or pushed toy prams around, many wearing small masks to cover their faces.


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"It has been very good for me to get out," said six-year-old Ricardo after a runaround in Madrid with his younger sister.

"We played hide and seek, we raced. We found a ladybug that was lost and we put it in among the ants."

Some parents took precautions, dressing their kids with protective gear before going out. "They're all properly equipped with masks and gloves," said Miguel Lopez, father of two children aged six and three, and who lives in an apartment in northwest Madrid.

"It's like a day out for them, it's the most interesting thing for them in a month," he added.

Alvaro Paredes, 7, and his brother Javier, 4, were just getting ready for their big adventure.

"We are going to go out in an hour's time, going about a kilometre on scooter or bicycle to do a tour around our neighbourhood," said their mother Inmaculada Paredes.

"They are super excited, very, very impatient. They were up at 6:30 am, saying 'We're going out, We're going out!'," she laughed.

The restriction on children had come under increasing criticism in Spain, with specialists warning of the danger it posed for their health and mental wellbeing.

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Last week one of Spain's deputy prime ministers Pablo Iglesias apologised for keeping them at home for six weeks, acknowledging it was "not at all easy" for them and saying thank you.

The government's initial plan to allow children to accompany adults only on their rare authorised trips, for example to supermarkets, satisfied no one and prompted a hasty retreat.

"All our common sense tells us that it is safe for the children," said mother Paredes. 

"If I can go to a supermarket, which is an enclosed space, then going for a walk (in the open) has got to be safer."