Exmouth Queen’s Drive play area will reopen within days, as will 11 other sites across Honiton, Axminster, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Beer and Ottery St Mary.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) said because of the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown, it will reopen the following play areas from Monday, July 13.
- Queen’s Drive play area, Exmouth
- Phear Park, Exmouth
- Redgates, Exmouth
- Allhallows, Honiton
- St Mark’s Road, Honiton
- North Street, Axminster
- Foxhill, Axminster
- Lime Kiln, Budleigh Salterton
- Stowford Rise, Sidmouth
- Manstone Recreation Ground, Sidmouth
- Jubilee, Beer
- Land of Canaan, Ottery St Mary
In the coming weeks EDDC said it would assess its remaining 59 play areas and outdoor gyms.
The council, which manages a total of 71 sites, said the remaining areas will be reopened in phases once safety inspections, risk assessments and mitigation measures have been put in place.
An EDDC spokeswoman said: “New signage will be in place to remind people to maintain social distancing, to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their visit, to take their own hand sanitiser wherever possible and not to eat and drink whilst using play equipment.
“Users are also asked to take their litter home or to dispose of it in the bins provided, be considerate of other park users and if any play area appears busy, they should come back at a later time.”
She added: “As with all outdoor equipment that can be used by everyone, play areas cannot be guaranteed to be free of COVID-19.
“Parents should supervise their children at all times and should take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their children while using the equipment.
“Government guidance says parents, guardians and carers should sanitise children’s hands both before and after using the play equipment.”
Earlier this week the council reopened its skate parks and multi-use games areas.
The council’s skate parks are now available to use at Budleigh Salterton (Lime Kiln), Exmouth (Phear Park), Honiton (Allhallows) and Seaton (Underfleet).
Multi-use games areas open to the public from this week are: Exmouth: Phear Park (x2), Liverton Copse, Cumberland Close, King George’s Field, Carter Avenue, The Crescent; Axminster: Foxhill; Honiton: St Mark’s, Davey Playing Field, All Hallows; Ottery St Mary: Thorne Farm Way, Winter’s Lane, and Budleigh Salterton: Greenway Lane.
Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said:
“I am really pleased that following the Government’s decision to reduce COVID-19 emergency measures we are able to reopen some of our play areas.
“We are only able to do this following a thorough review and risk assessment of all our sites, and providing signage to protect the health and wellbeing for all the users.
“We are aware that there are other playparks and facilities throughout the district run by a community, group, or parish council who are also considering opening their facilities and we would advise that residents check locally when these play parks are open.”
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