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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Restrictions will be lifted in many of South Somerset’s playparks and play spaces from Saturday 4 July

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Restrictions will be lifted in many of South Somerset’s playparks and play spaces from Saturday 4 July.

As part of the Government’s proposals to ease some of the lockdown restrictions which have been in place since March, play areas can once again open to the public as long as a number of safety measures have been put in place.

As part of this work, our teams have been:

  • Carrying out detailed safety inspections of all our sites
  • Continued maintenance to ensure the equipment is safe (and this has included the provision of new equipment in some areas)
  • Setting up a schedule of final inspections for all sites including installing new temporary signage to ensure public safety

We would ask residents not to use any of the sites until our teams have removed barriers or the cable ties which have been securing gates and entrances.

If you find a site remains closed, there will be a reason and it is likely to be safety related. We will be reviewing all sites on a regular basis to ensure they can all be safely opened.

READ MORE: See all of our advice in relation to Coronavirus

The signage being put in place will remind people to maintain social distancing, to sanitise their hands and not to eat and drink whilst using play equipment.

Cllr Mike Best, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “We want to thank all of our residents who have been very understanding about the need to close our parks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“With some restrictions being lifted, we are very happy to open our sites once again so people can enjoy the health benefits of the fantastic sites that can be found all across the district.

“But we ask anyone visiting to please follow the guidance that is available. This is so important for the safety of all in our communities as we try to minimise the spread of this terrible virus.”

The following Government guidance remains in place:

  • You can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • Single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • From 4 July, you can also meet in a group of 2 households (including your support bubble), in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.
  • Please continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow

You can find a list of play areas near you by using the South Somerset District Council website - https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/local-services/

Remember, the district council does not own all playparks in the district as town or parish councils operating some sites while play areas may also be in private ownership. Other councils, or private owners, may determine that their sites cannot safely reopen at this time.

If you need support, a risk assessment template for reopening can be found here

The following poster has also been provided for playparks that have reopened.

We also ask that residents please keep our sites clean and tidy, using bins where they are provided or taking their litter home with them. 

If the bins are full please take your rubbish home, do not leave any bags next to the bin as the wildlife scatter it around looking for scraps of food. Please note that the waste in our bins go to landfill. If you have got some rubbish that can be recycled, please take it home and put in your recycling bin to help protect the environment.

For the latest Government guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms, visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-playgrounds-and-outdoor-gyms/

 

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