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‘Joy and relief’: Spanish children allowed out after six weeks in Covid-19 lockdown

Children play in Madrid, Spain, on April 26, 2020.
Children play in Madrid, Spain, on April 26, 2020. © AFP / FRANCE 24

Children in Spain got their first taste of freedom after more than six weeks stuck indoors on Sunday, as Spain eased its Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to allow under 14s to go outside for play and exercise for the first time since March 14.

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Under the relaxed measures, children are allowed out for one hour a day between 9am and 9pm.

“With a lot of joy, a lot of nerves, the children were looking forward to going out after 45 days at home, a lot of happiness, it’s a relief,” Clara Martin, a mother of two from Madrid, told Reuters.

"Because it's been a long time since I've played football, it's been a long time since I've seen the street and going out again is amazing,” added 11-year-old Nicolas Ximeno.

Nevertheless, restrictions remain in place. Children must be supervised by an adult, with a maximum of three children per adult and must remain at least two metres from others, while playgrounds remain closed.

Spain has seen one of the most restrictive lockdowns of anywhere in the world and was one of the few countries to force children to stay indoors, a measure that has seen increasing criticism with specialists warning it could be dangerous for their health and mental wellbeing.

Spain has recorded more than 23,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest in the world. But numbers have been falling, with 288 deaths recorded on Sunday, the lowest daily rise in the past month.

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