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‘We have to put safety first’ - further play area closures announced

PUBLISHED: 13:53 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:04 30 March 2020

Play areas in West Norfolk have been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Chris Bishop

Play areas in West Norfolk have been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Chris Bishop

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More play areas in Norfolk have been closed with immediate effect as part of the county’s ongoing fight to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The play area in Station Road, Ormesby St Margaret, has been taped off to prevent the spread of coronavirus Picture: Liz CoatesThe play area in Station Road, Ormesby St Margaret, has been taped off to prevent the spread of coronavirus Picture: Liz Coates

South Norfolk District Council became the latest local authority to shut all of its 75 playgrounds as it posed a “high cross-contamination risk”.

Parks and countryside sites owned by the council remain open until further notice.

A South Norfolk Council spokesman said: “We are confident our residents will understand that we have to put the safety of our communities first, particularly our vulnerable residents.

“Making children keep to the recommended two metres distance in a busy playground or play area is difficult. The play equipment, which is used by a large number of small hands, is unable to be disinfected and so represents a high cross-contamination risk of the virus.

The play area in Station Road, Ormesby St Margaret, has been taped off to prevent the spread of coronavirus Picture: Liz CoatesThe play area in Station Road, Ormesby St Margaret, has been taped off to prevent the spread of coronavirus Picture: Liz Coates

“Our decision also means we are doing what we can to protect our NHS from coming under further pressure.

“We have decided not to close open spaces, giving consideration to the wellbeing benefits of parks and commons and the need for exercise.”

Many district and parish councils made the move last week following government guidance.

A King’s Lynn and West Norfolk District Council spokesman said: “The decision to close play areas has been taken after we considered the risks to public health, the availability of hand-wash facilities and the difficulty in keeping children at a safe social distance.”


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