Exemptions will allow young people to socialise, play and receive informal childcare
A charity has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to prioritise children’s social and emotional development in its new coronavirus restrictions.
Announcing a raft of new measures to control the spread of the virus yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a number of exemptions to allow children and young people to socialise with friends and enjoy outdoors play.
Under the new rules, children under 12 years old will be able to play outside exempt from both the limit of six people and the limit of two households, while those aged 12-18 will be exempt from the two household limit.
Ms Sturgeon also announced exceptions for extended households and single-parent families to ensure informal childcare arrangements can continue under the new regulations.
And she addressed teenagers specifically, saying: “I know how miserable this is for you and I am so grateful for your patience. We are trying to give you as much flexibility as we can at this vitally important time of your lives. In return, please work with us and do your best to stick to the rules, for everyone’s sake.”
Mary Glasgow, chief executive of national children’s charity Children 1st, welcomed the exemptions.
She said: “It is reassuring to see the Scottish Government prioritise the wellbeing of children and young people in the difficult choices they have had to make today. Making it possible for children under 12 to play together outdoors and allowing young people aged 12 to 18 to meet outdoors in groups of six is essential to protect the social and emotional development of Scotland’s youngsters.
“Together with the continuation of informal child care arrangements this will lift some of the burden and stress on families, many of whom continue to face the most challenging time of their lives. Children 1st Parentline continues to be here for every family in Scotland who needs practical, emotional or financial support to get through.”
Any families seeking support or advice from Children 1st can contact Parentline free on 08000 28 22 33, or connect online using the Parentline webchat service.