Play areas to remain closed across North Somerset

Play areas in North Somerset will remain closed.

Play areas in North Somerset will remain closed. - Credit: Archant

Play areas in North Somerset are not reopening due to ‘unrealistic’ Government guidelines.

Play areas, along with museums, arcades and outdoor gyms were able to reopen on Saturday after the Government announced a relaxation in lockdown restrictions.

The Government guidelines for play areas mean equipment must be cleaned regularly and relocated to allow social distancing, stewards and a booking system must be provided, along with new entrances and exits.

Cllr Caritas Charles, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for parks and green spaces, said: “We are not able to operate our play areas under the current government guidelines which we consider to be unrealistic and unworkable.

“Until the guidance changes, or we’re able to establish a way of making the guidance workable, our play areas will unfortunately remain closed. We appreciate this will be frustrating to families. We would love to be able to re-open them, but the welfare of our residents has to be our number one priority.”

There are 56 play areas in North Somerset and the authority says it is not feasible to comply with a number of Government guidelines.

it is not feasible for the council to comply with

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Cllr Charles added: “There are significant costs and practical issues associated with each of these activities.

“Cleaning the play equipment would actually only be a symbolic activity because the equipment could become contaminated immediately after we have left the site.

“Until the guidance changes to something that we can implement, or we are able to find a way of operating the play areas safely within the constraints of the guidance, our play areas will have to remain closed. We will work to get them open again as quickly as possible.”