Playgrounds to reopen in Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar under ‘new normal’

PUBLISHED: 15:34 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:10 03 July 2020

Children enjoying the new play equipment at the official opening of Haldens Play Area. Picture: Danny Loo

Children enjoying the new play equipment at the official opening of Haldens Play Area. Picture: Danny Loo

©2019 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

A total of 38 play areas will be reopened by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council as lockdown continues to ease this weekend.

The council has also urged parents to read guidance set out on its website before their visits to ensure the equipment is used as safely as possible. Information is also displayed on posters outside of each play area.

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Stephen Boulton, executive member for environment, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing children play happily on slides and swings once more and the gates to our play areas open.

“Learning to adapt to our ‘new normal’ is bringing fresh challenges – especially when you have excited children on your hands – but the advice is in place to keep everyone safe, and our play areas open for good.”

Following government advice on staying alert, the council has said that the most important message is for users to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene when using the facilities.

The equipment will be checked for safety reasons only, so parents are advised to make sure they have hand sanitiser with them. Only one adult should accompany children, who should also be supervised carefully and encouraged not to touch their faces.

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Similarly, Hatfield Town Council has committed to reopening its play areas – which were also closed in line with government guidance – from Saturday with Acacia Street delayed until Monday.

Hertsmere Borough Council has decided to open all play areas tomorrow except Composers Park in Elstree and Brook Meadow and Meadow Park in Borehamwood where incidents of vandalism have left the sites unsafe to open at this time.

Councillor Seamus Quilty, portfoliio holder for environment, said: “I’m absolutely delighted we can welcome families back to our playgrounds.

“We want Hertsmere’s children back in our much-loved playgrounds and finally allow them to burn off some of the energy after all that time indoors. I know how eager many residents are to use our popular outdoor gyms as well.

“Unfortunately, the actions of a few people who removed signs, broke into playgrounds, littered and, in some cases, caused deliberate damage to play equipment, have meant we are delayed in reopening three of our playgrounds.

“We are working hard to ensure that we can open these remaining playgrounds safely and as soon as possible. We will keep residents updated through our website and social media channels.”

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