Spain grants children permission to accompany adults on essential errands

Madrid, Apr 21 (efe-epa).- Spain’s government said Tuesday that children under the age of 14 will be allowed to accompany adults on essential errands.

Spanish children will have spent six weeks indoors by the time the tweak to the state of alarm comes into effect on 27 April in what is one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

Youngsters will only be allowed to leave the house to accompany an adult on trips already permitted under the lockdown such as to the supermarket, pharmacy or bank.

“The majority of children have stayed in their houses, for which reason the probability that they are infected is very low,” María Jesús Montero, spokesperson for the Socialist Party-led government, told a press briefing.

“We propose that their leaving of the house be controlled.

“We are not relaxing the confinement measures.

“It is the responsibility of the adults to comply with the measures.”

Montero said the age bracket of one to 13 was selected because teenagers aged 14 and up were already able to leave the house for errands such as picking up shopping.

The altered rules do not allow adults to take children out on a walk or to exercise and parks and play areas will remain off limits.

According to the lockdown measures currently in place, only one person from each household is allowed out for errands at any given time.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said over the weekend he would submit a proposal to extend the lockdown until 9 May, which has been in place since 14 March. It must be approved by lawmakers.

Spain’s health ministry said on Tuesday 430 people had died in the last 24 hours after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 21,282.

Tuesday’s figures represented a small uptick from the previous day, a trend that is normally observed as the figures retroactively correct delays in data collection over the weekend.

The number of infections detected in the last 24 hours fell to 3,968, a drop of around 300 cases compared to Monday and around a thousand fewer cases than on Tuesday last week despite the fact the government has boosted its testing.

Fernando Simón, head of the department of public health emergencies, said: “We continue to maintain a clearly downward trend in recent days.”

Authorities have detected 204,178 positive Covid-19 cases since the outbreak began with 9,636 of those picked up by antibody tests, meaning the carrier had overcome the disease and not shown symptoms.

Spain has been the worst-affected country in Europe for confirmed case numbers and second in the world behind the United States.

In terms of the death toll, it is third in the world behind Italy and the US.

The country’s famed San Fermin running of the bulls festival was the latest cultural event to be shelved due to the coronavirus.

Municipal authorities in Pamplona, the northeastern city that opens its doors to a million revellers every year for the week-long festival, said it was a sad decision but could not see how the event could go ahead as scheduled between 6-14 July.

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