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Spanish Children Allowed Out From COVID-19 Lockdown

Prolonged lockdown could have had a psychological, emotional and behavioral effect, as well as affecting sleep patterns and appetite, on some children, an expert said.
27 Apr 2020 09:55
Spanish Children Allowed Out From COVID-19 Lockdown
Photo from FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi's Instagram account shows Messi posing with two of his children at home during lockdown in Spain on March 14, 2020.

Children under the age of 14 in Spain are allowed to leave their homes and go outside on Sunday for the first time since the country entered a state of alarm and a virtual lockdown on March 15 amid COVID-19 spread.

Children with no symptoms of COVID-19 are allowed to go outside for an hour in the company of an adult between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., while they are advised to avoid the morning and evening rush hour when more people could be outside.

Maria Jose Mellado, president of the Spanish Pediatrics Association, told Xinhua that her organization had worked with the Spanish government to draw up recommendations to allow children outside with accompany of adults.

She said “from the emotional point of view,” there could be a percentage of children who “could have had a psychological, emotional and behavioral effect, as well as affecting sleep patterns and appetite.”

Children play with soap bubbles at a square in Valencia, Spain, July 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Guo Qiuda)

Children play with soap bubbles at a square in Valencia, Spain, July 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Guo Qiuda)

However, she said she didn’t believe being in confinement for six weeks would have any long-lasting physical effects for children.

Meanwhile, she was pleased that most families in Spain have adapted well to lockdown and helped give their children a structure at this difficult time.

“Families have been correct in following instructions, with timetables for work at home and fun, for study and games and eating together … that is very important,” she said.

Three children are allowed outside at a time from a household, but they must remain within a radius of 1 km from their homes and observe social distancing regulations of keeping two meters away from others.

Children in rural areas are allowed to walk in fields and woodlands, but parks remain closed and children’s play areas are still sealed off to prevent any possible infections.

Children wait for Jason Baird, who runs a martial arts academy in South Manchester, dressed up as Spider-Man to entertain the public amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Manchester, Britain on April 13, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)

Children wait for Jason Baird, who runs a martial arts academy in South Manchester, dressed up as Spider-Man to entertain the public amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Manchester, Britain on April 13, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday that if the number of new cases in Spain continues to fall, adults will be allowed outside to take “individual exercise” from May 2.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Services on Sunday, Spain reported 207,634 cases of COVID-19, and 23,190 people have died.

 

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