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Phased re-opening of West Norfolk play areas announced

West Norfolk Council has this morning announced plans for a phased re-opening of the play areas it operates.

Officials say sites have been assessed for visitor frequency and a special anti-bacterial coating will be applied to all equipment before it can be used.

However, the authority has warned the process will take some time and families will still need to take measures to protect themselves should they decide to visit their local site.

Play areas across West Norfolk are starting to re-open after the coronavirus.
Play areas across West Norfolk are starting to re-open after the coronavirus.

Deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said: "We must reiterate that equipment cannot be cleaned between each use.

"Those whose children are using the play areas, must go prepared with anti-bacterial wipes or hand gel, so that they can reduce any risk of spreading the coronavirus, to keep themselves and others safe."

The council owns more than 80 play areas across the borough and the equipment in the Walks has been available for public use for the last two weeks, as staff are present there to ensure it can be cleaned regularly.

Other play areas will open on the basis of how frequently they are used, starting with the sites at Lynnsport and Hunstanton's Esplanade Gardens.

They will be followed by the Howdale and Memorial sites in Downham, plus other locations in Lynn.

Each site will undergo a safety check before it opens, with equipment being cleaned and having an anti-bacterial coating applied. Warning signs will also be installed.

Mrs Nockolds said: "The Government announced that play areas could open. However, the guidance given lacked any clarity in terms of what sort of cleaning measures would be required.

"In the absence of further clarification of cleaning procedures, we felt that we needed to get the play areas open as the summer holidays are already upon us.

"We are taking a measured approach based on our own assessments of each play area."

A full list of the play areas which are open can be found at west-norfolk.gov.uk/nearestplayareas.

Officials added that residents would need to check with the operators of privately-run play areas to see if they are open.

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