Barcelona: The sound of children shouting has returned to Spain’s streets for the first time in six weeks after the government lifted a strict home confinement on its youngest citizens.
Spain’s government let children under 14 years out for the first time Sunday morning after 44 days of complete seclusion. They can now to take walks with a parent for up to one hour within one kilometre from home.
“This is wonderful! I can’t believe it has been six weeks,” said Susana Sabaté, a mother of three-year-old twin boys who were wearing child-size face-masks. “My boys are very active. Today when they saw the front door and we gave them their scooters, they were thrilled.”
Youngsters can take one toy with them, but they are not allowed play with other kids and should maintain a one-metre distance from other people. Parks are closed. Authorities recommend that both parents and children wash their hands before and after outings.
Spain has one of the world’s strictest lockdowns as it fights to contain one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. The country has registered almost 225,000 cases of the virus and attributed nearly 23,000 deaths to COVID-19, though the true figure is thought to be much higher.
The strict measures helped reduce a daily contagion rate that was over 20% a month ago to under 2% this week, easing pressure on hospitals that were on the brink of collapse.
The government plans to allow adults to go out for exercise next week. Currently, only trips for buying food and medicine and unavoidable commutes to work are permitted.