Spanish government U-turns over lockdown restrictions on children
‘We erred on the side of caution,’ says Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Children under 14 will be allowed to go for a walk with one parent in Spain from April 26, after the government bowed to public pressure over a decision to ease restrictions on younger kids.
Health Minister Salvador Illa announced the decision late Tuesday, saying the government will issue guidance in the coming hours on how long and how far from home children will be allowed to go.
The decision marks a further change to the policy announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Saturday: that children under 12 will be allowed to leave their homes. The government had already shifted early Tuesday by extending the age to 14 but said children would only be able to accompany a parent while they go shopping or to the bank.
About 6.8 million children aged under 14 have been in strict confinement in their homes for the last five weeks, unlike the lockdowns in some other countries where kids are allowed to go outside.
Speaking in congress on Wednesday morning to request backing from lawmakers for a third extension of the state of alarm to May 9, Sánchez said of the shift on measures impacting children that “this is a government that listens.”
“It’s true, we erred on the side of caution, our children are everything for us,” he said. The government’s scientific and health advisers had recommended ministers to lift restrictions on children “with the outmost caution,” he added.
This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email email@example.com for a complimentary trial.