Families urged to turn away if they find popular spots in South Tyneside busy after concerns over South Shields play park
Families have been urged to turn away from popular spots in South Tyneside if they arrive to find them busy after concerns were raised over social-distancing at a newly opened play park.
But one Gazette reader described the scene at the play park at one point on its first weekend as ‘absolutely ridiculous’ as the sunshine drew in families keen to try out the new facilities.
In response, South Tyneside’s director of public health, Tom Hall, has urged people to change their plans if they arrive to find the play park – or any other spot – already busy with people.
“We know people are eager to visit the new park which provides additional spaces for local people to enjoy in this area. But it is important to remember that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and it is vital that people follow the rules that are in place,” he said.
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“Our parks are open in line with the Government restrictions, with signage reminding people about the importance of Hands, Face and Space.
“As with all our parks, residents who choose to use the equipment are advised to use them responsibly and take precautions to keep themselves, their children, families and others safe.
“This includes carrying and using hand wipes or sanitiser, washing hands and keeping a safe distance from others. If anyone arrives at one of our play areas and finds it too busy, we would strongly recommend they return at a quieter time.”
Council leader Tracey Dixon had earlier asked people to stick to the rules and guidelines when visiting the new play park as she confirmed the opening date for the facility.
Northumbria Police said they had not received any calls about the new play park, but have given a general reminder that people need to stay safe and follow the rules and guidelines as covid restrictions continue to lift.
Rule changes from March 29 mean people can now meet outdoors in groups of up to two households or six people, but authorities are urging people to take care as they enjoy the chance to mix with friends and family.