Play areas open today after lockdown restrictions eased

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Monday 20th July 2020 11:40 am
@JulieCambrian
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Residents in Monmouthshire, Newport and Caerphilly can now visit play areas for the first time since lockdown began in March, while those in Torfaen may have to wait a little while longer.

Last week, first minister Mark Drakeford announced that play areas and outdoor gyms could reopen from today, (Monday July 20), provided social distancing measures were put in place.

While parks in Gwent have mostly remained open, playgrounds have been shut to the public due to the risks they pose to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now that they are starting to open up, four of the five Gwent councils have announced their plans as to when they will reopen and what rules users will have to follow.

Blaenau Gwent council is yet to make an announcement.

Monmouthshire

Outdoor gyms and play areas will reopen today in Monmouthshire.

Those planning to take children to play areas are encouraged to wash their hands for 20 seconds before leaving home.

The county council has also advised visitors to carry hand santiser and disinfectant around when visiting play areas and outdoor gyms.

To help maintain social distancing, Monmouthshire council is advising that parents and guardians ensure their children don’t over crowd play equipment and give everyone a fair turn.

Newport

Playgrounds in Newport are reopening today (July 20) along with outdoor gyms.

The city council has said they will be making daily inspections and signage will be placed with advice for safe use.

Under the new rules for playground use, only one family member can accompany a child, a maximum of two children will be allowed on group play items at one time, and those using the gym equipment have been advised to carry their own towel.

Social distancing will need to be maintained by parents, guardians and older children, although the council acknowledges that young children and those with certain conditions may find social distancing difficult.

Caerphilly

Like Newport and Monmouthshire, Caerphilly play areas and outdoor gyms will reopen to the public today.

The rules that will be in place are like Newport’s. Only one adult will be allowed to company children at a time and social distancing must be maintained.

Hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes are encouraged, while food and drink is not allowed within the play areas.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to use their judgement and leave the play area if it becomes too crowded.

The cabinet member for environment and neighbourhood services, Cllr Nigel George, said: “Staff have been working extremely hard over recent weeks to ensure that residents are able to use these facilities as soon as possible.

“Although we are ensuring the equipment is safe, we are asking all residents to be personally responsible for their own and their children’s safety and use the areas cautiously.

“Coronavirus is far from gone, so we are urging those who visit to maintain social distancing and making sure hands are washed before and after each visit.”

Torfaen

Residents of Torfaen might have to wait a little longer before play areas are open to the public.

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