Gov't. reverses policy on outdoor activities for kids as Delta cases rise

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — The government's pandemic response task force retracted its policy to allow children outdoors, a day after health authorities confirmed local transmission of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

In the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued on Friday, children aged 5 to 17 will not be allowed to go outside their homes in areas under the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.

This policy change comes less than a month since the government agreed to ease travel restrictions on children of that age.

The IATF on July 9 initially allowed children to go to parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor spaces in areas under GCQ and modified GCQ via Resolution 125.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, Metro Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said mayors of the capital region made the recommendation to the IATF since children are not yet vaccinated, and they could be potential superspreaders of the virus.

READ: Kids as young as 5 allowed to go out, IATF rules

The Health Department on Thursday confirmed the local transmission of the Delta variant in the country as cases rose to 47.

Metro Manila was again placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions starting Friday until July 31 to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

READ: NCR, 4 provinces under GCQ ‘with heightened restrictions’ until end-July