For The First Time In 6 Weeks, Millions Of Children In Spain Can Play Outside Again : Coronavirus Updates After mounting pressure from parents, the Spanish government announced last week that starting Sunday, children could leave the house for one hour each day.

For The First Time In 6 Weeks, Millions Of Children In Spain Can Play Outside Again

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Kids in Spain went outside for the first time in six weeks on Sunday. The government there is allowing children out for one hour a day with an adult. Reporter Lucia Benavides says many didn't follow the rules.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: (Speaking Spanish).

LUCIA BENAVIDES, BYLINE: In videos posted to Twitter, dozens of people can be seen strolling along Barcelona's boardwalk. There are children on bikes and scooters and adults chatting, some without face masks and failing to maintain a 6-foot distance. But in the town of Moia, about an hour and a half from Barcelona, 8-year-old Bruno (ph) and 4-year-old Alan Perrara (ph) ride their bikes in a completely empty street.


BENAVIDES: Their mother, Iris El Bourj, says they will finally get their pent-up energy out.

IRIS EL BOURJ: (Speaking Spanish).

BENAVIDES: But she adds one hour a day is still not much. They've been going to bed later than usual because they're just not tired at night. El Bourj says they spend most of their time in front of the TV or computer, and Alan is especially hard to entertain.

EL BOURJ: (Speaking Spanish).

BENAVIDES: "You have to be constantly with him making up games," she says. Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 and has one of the strictest confinement measures. Since a state of emergency was declared on March 14, people have only been allowed to leave their homes to buy food, walk the dog or go to work. And up till now, children under 14 had to stay indoors. Child psychologist Barbara Zapico says the last couple of weeks have been especially hard for kids.

BARBARA ZAPICO: (Speaking Spanish).

BENAVIDES: "Children are being deprived of outdoor stimulation," she says. "And they're very inactive." Zapico says some kids are already showing symptoms of stress and anxiety. For NPR News, I'm Lucia Benavides in Moia, Spain.

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