CHILDREN will not be allowed to start using play areas in south Shropshire until at least later in the year.

After careful consideration of the practicalities around reopening play areas in a safe way, Shropshire Council has decided that play areas will remain closed to protect residents, communities and staff.

Shropshire Council is responsible for the management of 52 play areas right across the county. This makes it a difficult task to regularly clean high contact surfaces at play areas and follow Government guidance.

The council says that it is working hard with public health services to develop measures that will help to minimise the risk to public safety and enable play areas to reopen as soon as safely possible.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for many families and it’s not a decision that we have taken lightly,” said Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications.

“Our top priority throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been to protect people’s health and safety and to help slow the spread of the virus.

“When we are confident that we can safely re-open play areas, we will do so. Until then, we ask people to bear with us and to respect the ongoing closure.”

While play areas will remain closed, Shropshire’s stunning countryside is open to visitors.

Shropshire’s countryside has been a lifeline to people across the county during the lockdown.

People can find sites to visit by going to where they will discover the vast number of places to see and visit throughout the county.

When visiting Shropshire’s countryside, please make sure you respect the areas and behave responsibly so everyone can enjoy safely. For more information, see the countryside code.