With new cases of COVID-19 in Harlow continuing to fall, Harlow Council has started to reopen its 43 playgrounds and the car parks in the Town Park.
The playgrounds and car parks have been temporarily closed for just over a month while Harlow’s infection rates were one of the highest in the country. Although it is still one of the highest case rates in Essex, Harlow’s rate continues to fall and is currently below the England average. Today Harlow’s rate is 140 cases per 100,000 population. When the council closed the playgrounds on 15 January 2021 the rate was 1,238 cases per 100,000 population.
From today (17 February 2021) the council’s community safety team and HTS staff have started to remove locks and closure signage from playgrounds across the town and have carried out inspections of equipment. So far 22 playgrounds have reopened.
Families are reminded to wash hands, cover faces and make space when using playgrounds to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. The full safety rules and guidance for playgrounds are as follows:
- Follow the latest government restrictions around exercise and mixing with other households.
- If the playground is busy visit at another time.
- Use hand sanitiser throughout the visit and use a sanitising wipe to clean equipment. Wash hands as soon as possible.
- Wear a face covering and gloves when possible. Ask children to not touch their face or put hands in mouth.
- Keep your distance from others - follow the current guidelines for social distancing.
- One guardian per child from a household where possible.
- Take rubbish home if bins are full. Don’t leave it for others to pick up!
Playgrounds which are now open:
- Pets Corner
- Hester House
- Fold Croft
- Canons Brook
- Rectory Field
- Copse Hill
- Sumners Pool
- Sumners Park
- Joyners Field
- Lower Meadow
- Latton Bush
- Primrose Field
- Barn Mead
- Bishops Field
- Staple Tye