MASCOTS from soft play parks across the UK, including from here in York, are set to descend on Westminster tomorrow (July 16).

The mascots will be joined on Parliament Square by owners, staff and young families, who are all urging the Government to provide clear guidance on when and how they can re-open.

Janice Dunphy who runs Web Adventure Park and is chair of the Family Entertainment Association, will be joining them.

Janice said her business has lost well over £500,000 in turnover since she was forced to shut in March.

She employs 49 people, 20 of whom have been on furlough and nine of whom she's just had to make redundant. She said every effort is being made to make them safe for customers, but the Government has given no guidance on when they can reopen.

She said: "I'm having to make horrendous decisions every day. We have had no financial help as our rateable value is more than £50,000 and we can't claim insurance. Before all this, we had saved £150,000 to make improvements to the park, but all that's gone now and we're down to our last few pounds.

"I've spent £500 on hand sanitizer, we've bought two fogging machines and spent £6,000 on the website so people can book an allotted slot online and will be allocated a table so we can do 100 per cent track and trace and there will be ordering at the tables."

A recent survey undertaken by BALPPA, the trade body representing British leisure parks, piers and attractions, revealed up to two-thirds of the country’s indoor play centres are facing permanent closure within weeks.

On Friday, BALPPA, which has more than 400 members and represents over 180 indoor play centres, started an emergency online petition urging Boris Johnson to act. To date it has attracted over 16,000 signatures.

The Prime Minister has previously said: “As we reopen the economy, it’s important that we do not increase the risk of transmission which is why “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for now."