After more than a year of being locked up inside their homes to keep them safe from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the government’s pandemic task force has finally allowed children aged five and up outdoors in select areas.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said children at least five years old are now allowed to go outdoors in select areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and GCQ, except those under heightened restrictions.
This implies that children in 28 of the 30 GCQ areas for the month of July will be allowed to go out of their homes including Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Rizal which are under GCQ with some restrictions.
However, this would mean that kids in Cavite and Laguna would still have to stay inside their houses as these areas are under GCQ with heightened restrictions.
Roque said the outdoor areas where children will be allowed are the following:
- Biking and hiking trails
- Outdoor tourist sites and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism (DOT)
- Outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues
- Al-fresco dining establishments
Kids, however, are still not allowed in mixed-use indoor/outdoor buildings and facilities like malls and other similar establishments.
According to Roque, children must be supervised by adults and observe minimum public health standards, such as the wearing of face masks and social distancing.
Local government units (LGUs) may increase the above age restriction of children depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.
This was the first time the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has lowered the age restriction on people allowed to leave their homes since the COVID-19 lockdown started in March 2020.