Release Date: 02 July 2020
Playgrounds and outdoor gyms are set to reopen next week, following their closure due to COVID-19.
In accordance with Government guidance, the borough’s 62 playgrounds and 11 outdoor gyms have been closed for the past 14 weeks. The Government has now announced that they can reopen from 4 July. Multi Use Games Areas and Skate Parks will also reopen this weekend.
Since the announcement Council contractors have been carrying out operational inspections of the equipment to ensure that they remain in safe, working order.
When the spaces reopen, it will not be possible for the Council to carry out regular cleansing of touch points such as gates and individual pieces of equipment. We do not have the resources to do this. Therefore, the use of play or outdoor equipment is done so entirely at the user’s risk. Those who use the equipment are reminded of the guidance which will be on display at all locations:
Users of the Multi Use Games Areas and gym equipment are also reminded of the above. Kings Field skate park will have an imposed limit of a maximum of 25 skaters at any one time, with a restriction to one-hour use to ensure safe social distancing is adhered to.
Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee for Richmond Council, said:
“Outdoor activity is helpful for both physical fitness and mental wellbeing, and our local playgrounds have a special place in people’s lives. I am pleased that we can now reopen these facilities in line with Government guidance. We have carried out a risk assessment and will provide clear signage to guide individuals and families who want to use the equipment.
“But we must remember that COVID-19 is still a risk. Above all, please make sure that you keep your social distance and wash your hands – immediately – on your return home.”
If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.
Updated: 30 July 2020