96 play areas in Ipswich get go-ahead to reopen after major inspection
PUBLISHED: 11:07 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:07 03 July 2020
Sarah Lucy Brown
However, some swings have been removed to provide additional space and meet social distancing guidelines.
All play parks and seven outdoor fitness areas have been closed since March in line with restrictions imposed by the government’s coronavirus lockdown, to prevent the spread of the virus.
The government has given the green light for many areas to reopen following the lockdown - but Ipswich Borough Council said it needed to inspect each piece of equipment and prepare risk assessments before reopening.
Following the inspection of 800 individual pieces of equipment, Ipswich Borough Council has now given the green light for them to reopen - albeit with some changes.
Government guidance says that certain steps should be taken to minimise transmission of Covid-19, including cleaning regimes for high traffic touch points and signs to encourage social distancing at all times.
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As such, there will be notices at each play area to make clear how many people can use the facilities at any one time.
It is also asked that just one relative accompanies a child to the play area.
Ipswich Borough Council’s weekly coronavirus update added: “We have, in accordance with the guidance, needed to temporarily remove some swings in our play areas to provide additional space between users.”
The council also said that: “Redevelopment of the destination play area at Christchurch Park is continuing and we expect this to be completed and ready for use in early August, so although there is another month to wait before this redeveloped play area can be enjoyed, we feel sure it will be worth the wait.”
However, the new Dumbarton Road Recreation Ground play area, in Rushmere, will open for the first time since its was completion in March.
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The inclusive play area has a theme of “Ipswich and Transportation”, featuring a suspension bridge across a river representing the Orwell Bridge as well as a car, bike and train.
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