Sheffield City Council is working very hard to reopen some playgrounds and hopes to be able to do so soon, but it is important that government guidelines are met to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Cleaning regimes are currently being reviewed along with signage, to support the people of Sheffield to use facilities as safely as they can.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “I understand some residents may find these delays frustrating, but public and staff safety remains our priority. Our role is to protect and prevent and we are not prepared to compromise on this.
“We are continuing to monitor government guidelines and we will let people know as soon as we are able to open any of our sites. When we do, we will make sure that play facilities are available to people in all areas of the city.
“In the meantime we ask everyone not to visit playgrounds or use any of the equipment. Our parks service are not carrying out regular site checks nor is any cleaning taking place.
“We are very grateful that the children of Sheffield and their parents, family and carers are being patient whilst we undertake all the necessary work and must ask for your patience for a little longer.”
3 July 2020
Sheffield City Council will not reopen any of the city’s 154 playgrounds on 4 July, but is working to reopen a small number once confident that safety measures are robust and in place.
Following the Government’s announcement that playgrounds and outdoor gyms can reopen from 4 July, the council’s parks and countryside service has been working through the challenges to enable reopening safely.
Outdoor play or gym equipment is usually available to the public in more than 150 open spaces in Sheffield but these were closed in line with Government restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Working with Sheffield’s Public Health Team, the council will not be in a position to open any playground or outdoor gym equipment from 4 July but hopes to be able to open a small number, in different locations across the city, as soon as possible.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re working as quickly as possible to enable the reopening of some playgrounds and outdoor equipment. We fully acknowledge that the restrictions in place have had a huge impact on mental and physical wellbeing and I know how difficult the last three months have been for families and those with no access to physical activity equipment.
“For those reasons we want to allow residents to start using our outdoor equipment again, but we must put safety first. We are confident that we can bring in the necessary safety measures to support the use of our playgrounds, but managing this will not be easy, so reopening will be phased. Locations will be opened at sites that allow for social distancing first and foremost, and to make sure people in all areas of the city can access the facilities.
“At this stage I must ask everyone to refrain from using outdoor equipment and playgrounds but be reassured that we are doing everything we can to ensure these areas can open as soon as they are completely safe. We are grateful for your patience and will provide an update as soon as possible.”
Public toilets in parks also remain closed, but along with other facilities, reopening is under review to establish how this can be done safely.