Families ignoring social distancing at playgrounds 'putting lives at risk'

Signs have been put up to remind people of social distancing guidelines around towns such as Felixst

People are being warned to keep their distance at Colchester play areas - Credit: Archant

Families breaking social distancing rules at Colchester playgrounds by gathering in groups are "putting lives at risk", it has been warned.

The government has allowed play areas to remain open during the third national lockdown.

However, Colchester Borough Council said it would "act and close facilities where these concerns are ongoing" after police and Covid marshalls spotted groups gathering.

Its neighbourhood team is now working with Essex Police to patrol areas of high concern.

Councillor Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council portfolio holder for waste, environment and transportation, said: “Colchester is home to many beautiful open spaces that contain playground facilities and we want people to enjoy them safely.

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“While many are following the government’s advice, sadly there are a few who are putting lives at risk and not adhering to social distancing and gathering rules, despite the educational steps taken by Essex Police and our Neighbourhood Services team.

“If people can’t follow the rules, then in the interest of protecting and saving lives we will take the decision to close the playgrounds where this continues to be a problem.

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“We need to take care to be considerate to others and all do our bit combat the spread of the virus.

"Stay at home as much as possible, and when out for your daily exercise, stay at least two metres apart and continue to wash your hands frequently.”

Those using play areas are also asked to wipe down any touch points after using equipment and regularly sanitise their hands.

People are asked not to eat or drink at play areas, take any rubbish home and come back to use playgrounds later if they look busy.

Full guidance for playgrounds and outdoor gyms is available at www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/residents/playgrounds-outdoor-gyms-coronavirus/

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