Matt Hancock: Going to the Park with your Children is ‘Perfectly Reasonable’.
A CABINET OFFICE statement released yesterday (February 10) which told parents to avoid taking kids to playgrounds if they had access to a private garden, has caused upset and outrage, sparking the UK’s Health Secretary to react and calm down the situation.
The statement read: “Playgrounds are primarily for use by children who do not have access to private outdoor space, and while parents, guardians or carers are allowed to take children to a playground for exercise, they must not socialise with other people while there.”
This outraged Tory MPs, with former health secretary Jeremy Hunt saying: “I’m in the ‘go harder and faster’ camp on Covid, but it does seem over-zealous to allow two adults to exercise outdoors but not two children (who face much lower risk from Covid, but probably greater mental health risks from lockdown).”
Campaign group, Playing Out, stating that the UK government are damaging children by not including ‘play as an essential exercise’ – one of the limited reasons people are allowed to leave the house under current legislation.
Ms Ferguson told PA: “Children playing outside doesn’t get recognised as being exercise because it doesn’t look like exercise in the way adults do it, like going for a run.
“It would give parents reassurance that it’s a legitimate reason to be outside with their children if it were included in the guidelines.
“There is a lack of clarity, and the people that suffer in the end are the children who are not able to exercise.”
However, Matt Hancock, speaking to Sky News this morning (February 11), spoke out against the Cabinet Office statement.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of that, but the rules are really clear. Exercise outdoors with members of your own family is okay,” the health secretary said.
He then clarified further, saying “Going to the park with your kids is not only allowed, but perfectly reasonable.”
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