By Jose Elías Rodríguez and Nathan Allen
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain, one of the countries worst hit by the global coronavirus epidemic, on Monday started to ease tough lockdown restrictions that have kept people confined to their homes for more than a month and put a brake on economic activity.
Spain’s cumulative death toll from the coronavirus rose to 17,489 on Monday, up 517 from 16,972 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. Confirmed cases totalled 169,496, up from 166,019 the previous day.
However, this was the smallest proportional daily increase in the number of deaths and new infections.
With signs indicating the situation was taking a tentative turn for the better, some businesses, including construction and manufacturing, were allowed to reopen.
But most of the population were still confined to their homes, and shops, bars and…