The kids are coming – children under the age of 16 in Buenos Aires have finally been given the nod to leave their homes for short recreational walks – though parks, squares, and most crucially, playgrounds, will remain closed for now.
As part of the bid to tackle the spread of the novel Covid-19 coronavirus, kids in the capital have now been locked up for almost two months without being able to leave their homes. Children were officially put under lock and key on March 20, when President Alberto Fernández ordered the mandatory social isolation period for all citizen, though most schools had shut their doors days beforehand.
Speaking this weekend, Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said at a press conference that all children in the capital would now be able to leave their homes for one hour either on Saturdays or Sundays, depending on the final digit of the number of their parents' DNI national identification card.
"On weekends, children under the age of 16 will be able to walk for no more than 500 metres [away from their homes] with their parents for an hour, but parks and squares will not be opened," said Rodríguez Larreta.
The City mayor said that the restriction on when they could leave their homes had been put in place to "prevent everything from going out at the same time,"
"The children can leave according to their father's ID card; [if it ends with an] even number, they can leave on even days, odd numbers, on odd days," he said.
The PRO leader called on residents to be responsible and not to abuse the permission.
"The most effective control is that which arises from the responsibility of each person, but that does not mean that the State is going to exercise its role of control" to avoid
irregularities in the outings with minors, he added.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after President Alberto Fernández had announced that all citizens in Argentina were authorised to leave their homes for one hour a day, with a radius of up to 500 metres from their home.
"We are going to authorise that, daily, it is possible to go out in a radius of up to 500 metres for recreational purposes. It does not imply running, cycling or physical activity," he said, adding that the idea was for everyone to "go out for a walk and get a little air."
Children must always be accompanied by their parents, the president added.
The decision applies to residents in all of the country, but leaders in large urban centres – which have registered the highest numbers of Covid-19 infections – have the final say over whether permission is granted.