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Coronavirus: Cambridge City Council closes playgrounds and play areas

Cambridge City Council has closed all playgrounds and play areas with immediate effect. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge City Council has closed all playgrounds and play areas with immediate effect. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge City Council is closing playgrounds and play areas with immediate effect in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the council will keep parks open until further notice.

The decision to close play areas has been taken after the council considered the risks to public health, the availability of hand-wash facilities and the difficulty in keeping children at a safe social distance.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, said: “Closing Cambridge’s playgrounds and play areas is one way we can help limit the spread of coronavirus.

“I am confident people 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.

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

The Lammas Land and Cherry Hinton Hall car parks will be closed from Tuesday morning, but the council has decided not to close open spaces, giving consideration to the wellbeing benefits of parks and commons.

It has urged for social distancing though, and is asking people to use their local parks and not to travel to busier areas. It also wants people to take litter home with them, to minimise the risk to maintenance staff.

Cllr Thornburrow said: “Cambridge’s parks and open spaces are still open but I encourage everyone to be responsible and stay at least two metres apart whilst they are enjoying the fresh air and exercise.”

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