When will children’s playgrounds reopen in Scotland?

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 3:03 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 3:03 pm
This is when playgrounds in Scotland will reopen (Photo: Shutterstock)

Scotland had now moved into the second phase of its lockdown route map, with more restrictions slowly being lifted.

With more and more outdoor activities being allowed, children may be desperate to get back to their local playground.

But are playgrounds allowed to open in phase two? This is everything you need to know.

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Are playgrounds open?

Currently playgrounds are not open to the public. With Scotland now in phase two of its route map out of lockdown, there will be a phased approach to lifting restrictions.

Some restrictions were lifted on Friday 19 June and Monday 22 June, with more to come on Monday 29 June.

On Friday 19, changes included being able to meet with people from two households outdoors (with an eight-person limit and social distancing rules in place) and being able to make an “extended household” with another household.

From Monday 22 June, face coverings are mandatory on public transport and places of worship can reopen to the public. Professional sport can also resume behind closed doors, and dental practices can see patients with urgent care needs.

From Monday 29 June, more businesses and venues will be able to open, including zoos, retail shops with doors that lead out into the street and restrictions on moving home will be relaxed.

When will playgrounds reopen?

The good news is that parents and children won’t have to wait much longer for their local playground to open.

Playgrounds will be able to reopen from Monday 29 June, as part of the phased lifting of restrictions in phase two.

Restrictions are being lifted slowly in phase two to minimise the risk of cases of the virus surging again.

In her speech discussing the move into phase two on Thursday 18 June, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained that lifting restrictions too quickly could result in the virus “continuing to circulate at a higher level of transmission”.

She said: “This is why, though we are moving into Phase Two today, we are still being cautious and we are not going to do everything at once.

“We will take a staged approach, to avoid bearing all of the risk at the same time.”

Can I travel to a playground?

As restrictions around outdoor activities change, you might be tempted to travel for leisure purposes, such as taking your kids to a playground or taking your dog for a walk.

In her speech announcing Scotland moving into phase two, the First Minister said: “At this stage, for leisure and recreation purposes, we are asking people not to travel more than five miles or so from their home.”

While you are allowed to travel for exercise and leisure purposes, the advice is still encouraging people to use spaces closest to their home and not to travel more than five miles for these purposes.

Will there be new rules for children in the playground?

On the Scottish government website, it states that play parks will remain closed until Monday 29 June due to the “increased risk of transmission via surfaces such as playground equipment”.

However, there have been no details released about how playgrounds might operate once they open next week.

The Scottish government website also says that “open facilities without staff, such as outdoor skate parks or cycle pump tracks can be used, with strict physical distancing in place”, so it could be the same for playgrounds.