MORE than 35,000 people have been fined and 235 arrested during Spain’s first weekend of COVID-19 ‘freedom’.

A total of 36,762 penalties were doled out on Saturday and Sunday as the public exercised outside for the first time in seven weeks.

This took the total number of sanctions during the country’s coronavirus lockdown to over 800,000.

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However, Easter – April 11 and 12 – is still the record weekend with the highest number of fines and arrests – 49,871 and 441, respectively.

From March 15 when Spain’s state of alarm kicked, until May 3, a total of 7,189 people were arrested, while 806,595 were fined.

So far every weekend under lockdown has seen 30,000 people fined, according to data provided by the Interior Ministry.

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However the last two weekends have seen a rise in numbers, as children and then adults and the elderly were allowed out for fresh air.

Meanwhile the last fortnight has seen a drop in arrests, with numbers going below 300 over the last two Saturdays and Sundays.

The Saturday just gone saw 119 arrests and 16,490 fines, while on Sunday there were 116 arrests and 20,272 fines.

The number of increased arrests in the run-up to April 12 came amid a renewed government clampdown on workers, in which construction was no longer deemed ‘essential’.

The weekend of April 4 and 5 saw 359 people detained and 43,563 handed fines.

Spain’s lockdown has been the most intense period of fines since the Citizen Security Law – dubbed the ‘gag law’ – came into effect in 2015.

The 800,000 penalties handed out during the past seven weeks is three times that of the whole of 2018.

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