In line with the government’s new guidelines unveiled on Monday, Sefton Council has re-opened outdoor tennis and basketball courts.
To minimise the chances of infection, the Council’s Green Sefton team is asking visitors to the coast and to parks to take their litter home with them. The Council is also asking people to continue being its eyes and ears and to report any large gatherings to the police by dialling 101 or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published by the government on Monday 11th May, the guidance, says that from today people can take more outdoor exercise and that outdoor sports facilities, including golf courses can start to open.
Golfers are being asked to remain patient as the Council works out measures to ensure the safety of players and staff as courses re-open. The Government guidance states that people should only use them alone, with members of their household, or with one other person from outside their household, while keeping two metres apart at all times. The Green Sefton team hopes to have Bootle Golf Course, and Southport Golf Links open during the week commencing Monday 18th May, and will update people when details are known.
A Sefton Council spokesperson said: “Having received guidance from the government on Monday, saying that it will allow outdoor sports facilities to open on Wednesday, the Council has been looking at how it can achieve this across the board as soon as possible.”
“Although allowing facilities such as golf courses to begin opening, the guidelines in Monday’s 50-page document show that the Government is still putting an emphasis on social distancing.”
“Ensuring the safety for players and staff at our courses remains paramount and our teams have been working on plans that will enable us to re-open as soon as possible while also focusing on ways in which we can ensure we are following the government’s new guidance.”
Children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms, dog areas and pavilions and buildings in parks will remain closed, as will outdoor sport pitches for team games such as football and rugby. However, these can be used for sunbathing and picnics but no barbeques. Bowling greens will also remain closed for the time being.
Although people can visit the coast, these locations sites are not able to cope with high level of visitors at this time. Beach car parks at Ainsdale and Southport will not re-open in the short term and public toilets will also remain closed to ensure social distancing and the safety of cleaning staff that would be required to clean them. All visitors to the coast must adhere to Government strict social distancing guidelines and barbecues are strictly not permitted.
Sefton Council is encouraging people to take advantage of the new guidance by visiting their own local parks and greenspaces rather than travelling longer distances. And, it is asking those people who do visit its sites to treat them with respect and take their litter home.
The spokesperson added: “We would remind that despite the minor changes announced on Sunday, the government is still stressing the importance of people staying at home except for the reasons it has specified. And that when people do need to go out, they should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside the home.
“These include maintaining your distance from people outside your household, keeping your hands and face as clean as possible, avoiding crowds, from being face-to-face with people outside your household and washing your clothes regularly.”