Following the easing of National Lockdown measures across West Wales, this week all of Neath Port Talbot Council Parks will be reopening to the public with safety measures in place.
On March 22nd 2020, following the Welsh Government advice to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Neath Port Talbot council closed all their parks.
Now weeks one, the Council are responding to the wishes of residents and a change in the Welsh Government’s lockdown rules they are now re-opening all parks, however, it will not be “business as usual” as a series of measures will be in place to help maintain the safety and welfare of both staff and park visitors.
There are 18 council owned parks in Neath Port Talbot. All have varying facilities and some of those facilities based on current Welsh Government guidance will have to remain closed, such as: -
All the children’s play areas within the 18 council-owned parks will have to remain closed.
To confirm the 18 parks that are re-opening in Neath Port Talbot are
Visitors to the re-opened parks will be requested to stick closely to social distancing measures. Signs reminding park users of safety precautions will be placed on all access gates and visitors will be reminded of the need for hand washing/sanitising before and after visiting and to refrain from touching surfaces likely to have been touched by others.
Current guidance for parks is that benches should be removed but this would be impractical as benches are bedded in concrete so users will be asked not to use benches.
The Welsh Government guidance does emphasises the importance of exercising locally to where people live, generally within a five mile radius and therefore the parks are being re-opened with local residents in mind and everyone is reminded not to travel to parks outside of the five mile guidance at this time.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Rob Jones, said: “We know lockdown has been much harder for those who don’t have a lot of living space, a garden, or a place for their children to run around.
“We’re pleased therefore to be able to re-open all of our parks but I would ask that we all continue to play our part in the national fight against coronavirus by continuing to observe social distancing when exercising in parks so that visiting them is a good experience for everyone.”