Great Britain

Under-12s should be spared from strict lockdown measures to play with friends, Children’s Commissioner claims


KIDS under 12 should be freed from strict lockdown measures so they can play with their pals, the Children’s Commissioner has said.

Anne Longfield said children should be exempt from the rule of six.

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And they should not have to follow the ban on more than one household mixing together in lockdown areas, she added.

In a blistering attack on No10, Ms Longfield said ministers have failed to put kids first in the pandemic.

She blasted: “Children have fewer health risks from Covid-19 and yet they have suffered disproportionately from the nation’s efforts to contain the virus.

“While it has been good to see a greater understanding in parts of Whitehall and Westminster about what it means to be a vulnerable child, many of the decisions taken over the last six months have not put children first.

“While pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops opened, the majority of children were not able to attend school.

“Unless the Government acts now, Covid-19 is in danger of becoming an inter-generational crisis, with the impact of the economic fall-out on parents determining the future prospects of their children.

“This would decimate the Government’s ability to level-up opportunity across the country in the way the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised to do.”

Lockdown has deepened inequalities in Britain, Ms Longfield warned.

She called for welfare benefits aimed at kids to be upped, next year’s exams to be delayed and for more tutoring for the poorest kids to help them catch up.

A social lockdown is a step too far in the fight against Covid

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