Catalan government elaborates on plan to allow children out under certain conditions

Ministers explain scheme that must be greenlighted by Spain to come into effect

A young child looks out the window during lockdown (by Jordi Pujolar)
A young child looks out the window during lockdown (by Jordi Pujolar) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 18, 2020 07:39 PM

As already announced this past week, the Catalan government aims to allow minors to leave home in ten days' time if there is a "sustained decline" in the number of new Covid-19 cases.

This scheme, however, will have to be approved by authorities in Madrid before coming into effect.

According to Catalan interior minister Miquel Buch, who elaborated on the plan during Saturday's press conference not long after its approval by the Civil Protection Authorities Committee, underage children should be able to leave home under "flexible, progressive and revisable" conditions per region and local Covid-19 data, with time slots for different age groups.

These 2-hour time slots, as foreseen by the Catalan authorities, would permit children up until 6 years of age to leave home between 12 pm and 2 pm, while those between the ages of 6 and 16 would be allowed out from 4 pm to 6 pm and 16 and 17-year-olds from 6 pm to 8 pm. Over 16s would not require parental supervision.

Health minister Alba Vergés, who spoke after Buch, stated, however, when exactly this will be able to be implemented depends on the decrease in new contagions, but said a decision would be taken "at the end of next week."

Awaiting Spanish government go-ahead

As spokesperson Meritxell Budó explained, the Catalan government has informed Madrid of their plan, which President Quim Torra will bring up during Sunday's meeting with regional presidents from all over Spain.

Buch expressed confidence in the Spanish government greenlighting the measure at it responds to, he claimed, a "justified necessity" that is not incompatible with the ongoing state of alarm.