surinenglish

Children will be able to accompany an adult to the shops from next week

A boy walks his dog near a closed playground in Bilbao.
A boy walks his dog near a closed playground in Bilbao. / EFE
  • The government has modified its lockdown conditions to enable children up to 14 to leave the home, but only for authorised outings

Children up to the age of 14 will be able to go out in the company of an adult from next Monday.

The government has provided more details of the new coronavirus lockdown regulations in force from 27 April, to allow youngsters to leave their homes.

The outings have been given no time limit but, the government said on Tuesday, they will be limited to activities that are already permitted for adults under lockdown conditions.

A child, therefore, will be able to accompany a parent to the supermarket, bank or pharmacy, but no provision has been made in the regulations as yet for going for walks or to parks.

The conditions of this new decree were established at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning. Permitting children to leave the home is the first change to social confinement rules since the state of alarm was declared on 14 March.

"We are not relaxing confinement measures. It's the responsibility of adults to make sure that these measures are complied with," said Cabinet spokesperson, María Jesís Montero, on Tuesday.

"No one is going to be there with a stopwatch," said the minister, regarding the length of time that children will be allowed to go out for. She stressed however that the reasons for leaving the home must comply with the restrictions already in place for adults.

The government's decision to limit children's outings to their parents' existing trips to the shops has come as a surprise to many. This was not an option put forward by experts or by the regional authorities, mainly because it involves going to places where the children will come into contact with other people.