Spain to allow children outside after six weeks

Spain to allow children outside after six weeks
The prime minister agrees children need to have fresh air, but details still have to be worked out. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times, Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez aims to relax the rule on 27 April so that children can “get some fresh air”. The country imposed sweeping measures on 14 March to curb the spread of coronavirus and since then children have been kept indoors.

This week, Barcelona Mayor pleaded with the government to allow kids outside. The Mayor herself has young children.

Spain has been suffering extremely due to coronavirus outbreak, as the country has reported more than 20,000 deaths with almost 200,000 reported cases.

Spain had left behind “the most extreme moments and contained the brutal onslaught of the pandemic”, the Prime Minister said in a televised briefing on Saturday evening.

But he also said he would ask parliament to extend the country’s state of alarm to 9 May as the achievements made were “still insufficient and above all fragile” and could not be jeopardised by “hasty decisions”.

On Saturday, Spain has reported 565 deaths, significantly low from the peak of the pandemic. As the peak seemed to be passed, the government allowed some non-essential workers to resume construction and manufacturing last Monday.

However, the main lockdown measures remain in place, with adults only allowed out to visit pharmacies, food shops and work considered essential. Children have been barred from leaving their homes completely.

‘These children need to get out’

There are eight million children in Spain. These children have already spent five weeks confined to their homes and this sparked growing unease at the risk to their health.

The Spanish Children’s Rights Coalition has warned of physical and mental health problems for them as a result of confinement measures. It called for children to be allowed outside to play and do some physical activity.

Barcelona mayor said: “These children need to get out. Wait no more: Free our children!”

Barcelona Mayor urged to allow children to go outside. Source: Getty Images

Other countries, such as Norway is set to reopen kindergartens on Monday and Denmark has begun opening up schools for under-11s. Germany decided to open some schools on 4 May although the most populous state of the country will begin opening up from Monday.

Throughout the crisis, Sweden has kept its schools open, but none of these countries has been as badly hit by the virus as Spain.

From a week on Monday, Pedro Sánchez said, children will be allowed out but he added that he had not yet decided how it would be organised. He said that it would have to be “limited and subject to conditions to avoid contagion”.

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