PLAY areas across York will start to re-open from Wednesday next week, following their closure during the Coronavirus pandemic.

All of City of York Council’s 48 play areas, together with around 30 parks run by parish councils, housing associations and the Ministry of Defence, were closed in March, in line with government guidance.

As national restrictions continue to be relaxed, families will be able to visit the council’s play areas, but will need to follow sensible social distancing and hygiene precautions.

Park users will be recommended to wash their hands prior to and after visiting the park, use hand sanitiser and hand wipes during and after their visit and refrain from eating in the play areas. Everyone must also continue to follow national social distancing guidelines, staying two metres away from others outside their household or support bubble, where possible. Signage will be in place to remind people of the guidelines.

City of York Council managed play areas will be opened on a rolling basis from Wednesday. All the sites will undergo a safety check prior to opening to ensure that they meet all the necessary health and safety requirements. The council is also sharing guidance and working with parish councils and housing associations to support them in reopening their facilities.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, City of York Council’s executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: “Re-opening our fantastic play areas is a significant step on our recovery journey, and I’m sure it will be a really welcome move for families, especially ahead of the summer holidays. Unlike see-saw’s, most play area equipment wasn’t designed with social distancing in mind – and so some adaptions may be made to make it easier for children to follow the guidance.

“I hope that communities across the city will enjoy the play areas appropriately. We can only keep coronavirus transmission rates down in York if we all keep to the advice about regular hand washing and social distancing, and that includes on the monkey bars.”

To find your local play area, visit: