Playgrounds open: Are playgrounds open in the UK?

Playgrounds have lain abandoned during the coronavirus pandemic, despite Government orders to keep parks themselves open. Officials advice changed today, per Boris Johnson’s Sunday address, and people can now enjoy “unlimited” exercise, but some things haven’t changed.

Are playgrounds open in the UK?

The Prime Minister’s Sunday address revealed Government plans to slightly scale back the nationwide lockdown, with people allowed out of their homes for “unlimited” exercise.

From today, people can venture outside without limitation or fear of fines, but some measures remain in place.

Certain areas are off-limits due to the potential for COVID-19 transmission, and sadly for parents, this includes playgrounds.

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  • Lockdown: What rules are coming into force TODAY?

As per Government rules, playgrounds and outdoor gyms remain off-limits to the general public.

They remain one of several venues where COVID-19 transmission could run high, due to shared equipment and children’s hygiene habits.

Playgrounds, much like indoor gyms and leisure centres, will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

The Government has not outlined exactly when they would open again, but documents state they may not open their doors until “significantly later”.

People can, however, return to play some sports as long as they abide by official advice.

Golf, angling and even tennis are permitted once more from today, along with other sports which allow people to social distance.

Members of the same household can play closer contact sports such as football.

Dominic Raab said any sports should take place away from the public, as they risk contact with bystanders.

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  • Police warning: Britons asked to consider travel close to home

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said on Monday those sports which take place in “the least risky outdoor environments” may resume.

The latest advisories apply strictly to England, however, as devolved powers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have spearheaded their respective lockdowns.

Both Scotland and Wales have chosen to keep their lockdown measures in place, with people only able to take part in limited exercise for another three weeks.

However, Welsh officials insist the regional differences were not made clear by the Government, leading people to book holidays over the border.

Welsh hostels and hotels were recently “inundated” with calls from people in England attempting to book holidays from Wednesday.

The Chapel House in Mumbles, Swansea, said it received a request from a London-based group to book out their rooms for a 14-night stay following the Prime Minister’s announcement.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething advised people not to visit Wales until the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

He said: “We want you to visit Wales – later. You should not come to Wales for leisure or exercise if it isn’t local.”

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