Basildon Council is preparing to reopen play areas in six of the borough’s parks this weekend.
However, following new central government guidance, from 4 July the reopening of play areas and outdoor gyms will depend on deep cleaning first—which can only take place before this weekend providing the weather stays dry.
The first six sites planned to open are: Lake Meadows, Wick Country Park, Wickford Memorial Park, Wat Tyler Country Park, Northlands Park, and Gloucester Park.
The six play areas are part of the plan for a phased reopening of approximately 140+ sites across the borough, which will focus on destination sites being cleaned and opened first.
Basildon Council staff will extensively clean contact points and surfaces on equipment with specialised cleaning solutions before they open, while the public is also asked to apply hand sanitizer before and after using equipment.
Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Councillor David Harrison said: “After around 100 days of being locked-up, it’s great that we can reopen outdoor play areas for children and outdoor gyms for adults once again.
“We aren’t out of the woods yet and cleaning the equipment first is necessary. As with all cleaning products they can only be applied in dry weather and that might slightly affect the timing of reopenings.
“Nevertheless, we’re confident that soon play areas will be usable again and grass cutting in play areas is preparing the first sites for visitors again, while we ask people to please read the signage which will let people know what we are doing and appropriate public use of equipment during this stage of the pandemic.”
The opening of further play areas and outdoor gyms will be scheduled from next week. Residents can check the BBC website and social media for further announcements.