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Council re-opens sports and park facilities in the borough

Cheshire West and Chester Council has reopened many of its tennis courts and skate parks and Multi Use Game Areas after it reviewed how they could be used safely.

The facilities can now be used by members of the same household and adequate social distancing should be used if other people are present.

Playgrounds or outdoor gyms remain closed because of the higher risk connected with close contact or touching surfaces.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “I’m sure many residents are pleased they are now able to spend more time outdoors, which will boost people’s wellbeing.

“This easing of restrictions means it is important that everyone continues to act responsibly, as most people have done so far.  The infection rate will increase if people break social distancing rules and gather in large groups in our parks.

“Please play your part and be mindful that others could be waiting to use the facilities after you – other people in your community may need some time to enjoy outdoor facilities too. 

 “We are also currently looking at governing body guidance with clubs in the borough so we will be able to reopen other activities that take place within our parks such as bowling and angling.  Colleagues from our Public Health team are closely involved to ensure residents will be able to use these facilities safely.  This is a cautious approach that aims to provide a long term solution for the use of these facilities, as the coronavirus is likely to affect us all for some time to come.”

Special arrangements were needed at some locations so social distancing guidelines could be followed and where this was not possible the facilities have not been reopened at this stage.

The Council’s Greenspace officers are working hard to ensure the facilities are available for all and will be looking at additional signage and other visual messages to ensure users are reminded of social distancing and hygiene guidelines.  Users of the facilities will see the new signage and other measures in green spaces and parks very soon.

Although the Government’s main messages are to stay alert and remain at home as much as possible, people in England are now able to exercise outside as many times each day as they wish.  They are also able to travel to exercise and enjoy spending time in outdoor spaces, as long as they maintain social distancing.  It is recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly when you return home after being outside.

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