Date issued: 11 January 2021
Families visiting Colchester Borough Council’s playgrounds are being encouraged to adhere to the national guidance on social distancing.
The appeal follows concerns, raised by Essex Police and the council’s Covid Marshalls, of people gathering in groups and not adhering to social distancing guidelines over the last few days.
The current national lockdown rules mean that the Government has said that playgrounds can remain open, but the council will act and close facilities where these concerns are ongoing. The council’s Neighbourhood team is working with Essex Police to patrol areas which are of high concern.
Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “Colchester is home to many beautiful open spaces that contain playground facilities and we want people to enjoy them safely.
“While many are following the Government’s advice, sadly there are a few who are putting lives at risk and not adhering to social distancing and gathering rules, despite the educational steps taken by Essex Police and our Neighbourhood Services team.
“If people can’t follow the rules, then in the interest of protecting and saving lives we will take the decision to close the playgrounds where this continues to be a problem.
“We need to take care to be considerate to others and all do our bit combat the spread of the virus. Stay at home as much as possible, and when out for your daily exercise, stay at least two metres apart and continue to wash your hands frequently.”
Anyone going out to enjoy one of Colchester playgrounds should following the guidance on signs at the site and:
- If you or any of your family are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) DO NOT enter the play area. Return home and seek medical assistance.
- Wipe down touch points before and after you use the equipment (e.g. handles).
- Regularly hand sanitise before, during and after using the play area.
- Adhere to national social distancing guidelines and keep your distance from others.
- Do not consume food or drink on site.
- Do not use equipment marked ‘out of use’.
- Do not put your mouth on the equipment or your hands near your face.
- Take your rubbish home.
- Think about how long you spend in the play area - allow others to use the play area too. If the play area is busy, go back later.
See the full guidance for playgrounds and outdoor gyms at: www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/residents/playgrounds-outdoor-gyms-coronavirus/
Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives