Play areas in Torridge are set to reopen from Monday in line with a relaxation of Government lockdown restrictions.

Facilities were closed back in March as part of the nationwide lockdown.

Torridge District Council is carrying out a phased reopening of its parks to ensure safety inspections and risk assessments are carried out for equipment that has been dormant for almost four months.

The first sites to open are in Victoria Park in Bideford, as well as Westward Ho! and Appledore, while Torridge’s skate park reopens earlier, on July 4.

New guidelines have been issued for the use of play parks. They are:

Torridge District Council has released guidelines for the use of play areas. Picture: TDCTorridge District Council has released guidelines for the use of play areas. Picture: TDC

– Social distancing between groups of people - ideally 2 metres – and to consider coming back another time if an area is busy.

– Only one adult to attend with each set of siblings.

– Equipment should only be used by one family at a time and usage limited to a reasonable time to give everyone an opportunity.

– Not to bring or consume food and drink in play areas.

– Wash hands thoroughly before and after play – bring your own hand sanitizer.

– Use litter bins or take litter home especially tissues or other cleansing products.

– Not use equipment marked as ‘out of use’ or enter play parks yet to be opened.

– Anyone feeling unwell should also not visit a play area and should consult NHS guidance for further treatment and possible isolation.

Torridge District Council leader, Councillor Ken James, said: “Reopening our play parks is another step towards undoing some of the necessary restrictions everyone has been living under for the last few months.

“I know that children and families will welcome the freedom of being outdoors and the healthy play these facilities encourage.

“However if we don’t want to see a return to further periods of lockdown we need everyone’s help and support to stay vigilant and observe all the new guidance we’ve implemented and included on new signage and posters.

“If we continue to all work together I remain hopeful that we will continue to stay on top of things and keep infection rates low and in check.”