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10/07/2020

Play Parks and Outdoor Gyms to reopen

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has announced its play parks and outdoor gyms across the Borough will reopen on Friday 10 July in line with Northern Ireland Executive guidance.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has announced its play parks and outdoor gyms across the Borough will reopen on Friday 10 July in line with Northern Ireland Executive guidance.

Prior to reopening, Council has undertaken maintenance checks and risk assessments to ensure that the equipment is safe to use. All sites have also undergone a cleaning process in preparation for use.

As the play parks reopen, new rules have been put in place with a focus on parents and guardians taking responsibility for social distancing and appropriate supervision in order to minimise the risk of infection. All parents are encouraged to bring cleansing wipes to clean their hands and those of their children before and after using the play facilities. Signs will be in place at each site reminding users of the guidelines and parents are advised to pre-warn their children of the new rules which may mean longer waiting times for equipment and advising them on how to practice safe social distancing and hygiene standards.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth said;

“Our young people have been impacted significantly by lockdown, and I am pleased that these important facilities have now reopened. We are coming into the height of the summer period and with many families choosing to stay at home this summer, there is no doubt that our play parks and outdoor gyms will be in high demand and widely used over the coming months.”

Alderman Smyth continued;

“The period of lockdown has had a significant impact in restricting children’s play, which is a major part of both their physical development and stimulating their imaginations. Reopening our play parks will be a boost for our young residents’ health and wellbeing, but it’s important that everyone adheres to the rules so that we can all stay safe. We look forward to hearing that magical sound of excitement and laughter in our play parks once again.”

PlayBoard, the lead agency for play in Northern Ireland have been working closely with councils to support the reopening play parks. PlayBoard is currently looking for children and young people to complete a survey on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on their play. The survey is open to those aged 5-18 years of age and can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PBYourVoice

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