AFTER insisting earlier today that no serious breaches were committed the first day of parents being allowed out with kids – despite photos and videos demonstrating ‘irresponsible behaviour’ going viral on social media – the government has now issued a stern warning against breaking lockdown rules.
According to the government, 99 per cent of families behaved responsibly yesterday. However, the Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska, in today’s press briefing, acknowledged that “irresponsible behaviour” did occur. “Rules were broken from all adult members going out for a family day out instead of just one parent out for an hour, to groups of children playing together or parents grouping for chats,” she stated. “I want to remind those parents that didn’t comply with the rules that not only did they endanger other peoples’ lives, but they also put their own children at risk. It’s vital to respect the rules. We can’t afford to make any errors.”
Fernando Simón, Director of the Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies at the Ministry of Heath, also expressed his concerns about the behaviour of certain parents yesterday. “The irresponsible behaviour can have a negative impact and serious consequences on what has been achieved so far. If the numbers don’t go down, then restrictions will be lifted much slower that we would like,” he stated.
The Health Minister Salvador Ella, however, had a tougher warning. He said that law enforcement will be more vigilant to ensure parents don’t abuse the outings. “We are convinced that those parents who broke the rules yesterday will correct their behaviour. And if not, then we will take measures to ensure that they do,” he stressed.
The government again has reminded parents that only one adult can go out with up to three children (under the age of 14). They can go out once a day for a maximum of one hour up to a maximum distance of 1km from the home, between the hours of 9am and 9pm – by foot and not by car. A two-metre distance must be maintained with others. Playgrounds are strictly off-limits and so is playing with other children. Children, however, can take their own toys, bikes or scooters, but not the electric variety.
Breaking curfew rules come with costly fines, added the government. For example, as leaving the house with children outside the specified hours (9am-9pm), taking more than three children out at once, or playing on swings/roundabouts or going further than the recommended one kilometre distance from home, could land a €601 fine. However, more serious matters, such as congregating and chatting with other adults or children, or walking with other groups could see parents being slapped with a fine of around €1,500.