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Hamilton City Council advises that playgrounds still off limits to keep the community safe
Extra signs and security tape are going up throughout Hamilton to remind people the city’s playgrounds are closed to keep our community safe.
Hamilton City Council closed the playgrounds, including skate parks and basketball courts, when the country went to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 on 23rd March, with the New Zealand Government having ruled that playgrounds are out of bounds under Alert Levels 3 and 4.
The measure is not only to discourage people from different bubbles gathering, but also because the virus can remain on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Advising that playgrounds were shut to safeguard the community but not everyone is getting that message, Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate advised "it amazes me that people are prepared to risk their health and the health of their community by pulling down tape and removing signs. This gives kids the impression playgrounds are open, which is just not true.
“While it’s tempting to relax our vigilance after so many weeks, we actually need to increase our efforts now more people are out and about. And we also need teens and caregivers to be aware of that.
“If we end up with lots of children from different bubbles using the same play equipment, we could also end up with the virus spreading through our community. That’s exactly what we’ve been working hard to avoid – no one wants to go back to Level 4.”
Hamilton’s parks and walking tracks are open, so children and caregivers can still enjoy the city’s open spaces if they want a change from their own backyard.
The rule is to keep play local but children can still run around outside, play tag, have leaf fights, take their scooter to the park, kick a ball around and enjoy the autumn weather, as long as they stick to their own bubble and stay two metres away from other people.
Mayor Southgate added "we’ve worked hard to keep our playgrounds fun and up-to-date but they’re not the only way to play.
“We just need to stick it out for a while longer, and then we’ll all be back enjoying the city’s green spaces to their full potential.”
25th March 2020 - Play Australia advises that while playgrounds close outdoor play is fine
21st April 2020 - New Zealand Government looks to ease Coronavirus restrictions
15th April 2020 - Nature key to New Zealand’s post Coronavirus recovery
26th March 2020 - World Urban Parks emphasises that ‘Nature Never Closes’
7th February 2020 - Hamilton City Council looks to enhance water saving efforts
5th December 2019 - Hamilton Play Strategy gets recognition from Recreation Aotearoa
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