Several communities in Spain, including Catalonia and the Basque Country are insisting that the Government allow children to go outside before the next phase of de-escalation of the State of Emergency begins, but it will be up to the Central Government to make the final decision.
Health Minister, Salvador Illa, says he understands that it’s difficult for minors to stay at home and not go outside, but insists that it is necessary to act with the "maximum prudence" and promised that as soon as a decision has been made there will be an announcement.
He also said the de-escalation phase will be based on prudence, scientific evidence and the rights and freedoms of the people, but pointed out that Spain has not reached that phase yet.
Catalonia and the Basque Country have gone public with their proposal that minors be released, which is supported by the Ombudsman and will be tabled at his next meeting with Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez.
Catalonia has proposed that children aged 6 and over be allowed to go out at certain times of the day provided they wear a mask.
The Minister of the Presidency and Spokesperson for the Government, Meritxell Budó, has confirmed that a system for letting children out of the house is being worked out and if the Government authorises the proposals, kids could be allowed to go out for an hour's walk close to their homes by the end of next week.
Minister Buch said he hopes to discuss and debate the proposals with the Ministry of Health but admits there’s concern about the situation of minors.
The Basque Country Lehendakari, or President, Iñigo Urkullu, has announced that he will propose to Pedro Sánchez that limited times outside be introduced for minors and groups with special needs from April 26.
He will also suggest that preparations be made for the limited, staggered opening of shops and small businesses, and the authorisation of individual physical activity.
The Galician President, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, defended his proposal that children be allowed to go out in the streets, albeit with limitations and accompanied by an adult.
The Cantabrian President, Miguel Ángel Revilla, says that, in addition to allowing children out in a controlled way, family members should be permitted to say goodbye to loved ones who are dying from coronavirus and that they be provided with the necessary protection to avoid contagion.
Other autonomies, such as Castilla y León, maintain that now is not the time for children to go out in the streets saying it's up to the de-escalation group to decide when and where children in Spain should be allowed to leave their homes.
The Regional President, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said on Thursday that she understands that children confined to their homes "are having a very bad time", but appealed for "a little patience" saying, "we cannot afford a rebound of coronavirus cases."
The acting Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, pointed out that while he appreciates the "positive effectiveness" of the movement restrictions, “minors should be allowed to leave home with their parents, for a limited time, in a controlled manner, as is already happening in some countries around us.”