SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador’s president said on Saturday that the nation’s economy could start to re-open on June 16, following weeks of a strict lockdown meant to contain the coronavirus.
The process of bringing back the economy will be gradual and pass through several stages, with the airport not restoring operations until Aug. 6, President Nayib Bukele said.
The leader has imposed some of the toughest measures in the Americas against the pandemic, in which El Salvador has registered 72 deaths and 3,603 infections from the coronavirus.
Bukele had previously clashed with lawmakers who wanted an earlier end to the lockdown, saying it would be too risky to reopen. Upon announcing plans for the economy’s reboot, he urged residents to stay in their homes a bit longer than required.
“The quarantine legally ends today at 2400 hours (local time), but we are asking people to stay in voluntary quarantine until Monday,” he said. “We can’t avoid the re-opening.”
Reporting by Nelson Renteria, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Sam Holmes