CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is asking residents to continue to stay at home as much as possible following the Government announcement that eased some of the lockdown restrictions in England.
The easing of restrictions, though modest, is not without risk. It is important that everyone continues to act responsibly, as most people have done so far. The infection rate will increase if people break social distancing rules and gather in large groups in parks.
For the purpose of health and wellbeing, people may now exercise outdoors more than once a day, providing they:
only exercise alone, with members of their household or with one other person
continue to keep two metres apart at all times
follow good hygiene practices, particularly with respect to shared surfaces
Those responsible for public places must also be able to put appropriate measures in place to follow COVID-19 public health guidelines. The Council is currently reviewing how it can reopen some of its facilities for sports and recreation taking into account the guidance provided and working with health teams to make sure that spaces are safe.
People are still not able to use facilities such as playgrounds or outdoor gyms, where there is a higher risk of close contact or touching surfaces.
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Cllr Louise Gittins said: “I’m sure many residents will be pleased that some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased and being able to spend more time outdoors will boost people’s wellbeing. We must all continue to stay at home where possible and keep playing our part to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. This new guidance is for England alone and does not apply and has not been adopted by the Welsh Government. Therefore, I would like to remind people not to travel from the borough into Wales for their daily exercise.
“The Council’s main priority during these challenging times is, of course, safety, so we are currently carrying out assessments of how we can open facilities, like tennis or basketball courts and golf courses for people to enjoy time outdoors.
“We hope to open facilities as soon as possible but it may be necessary to make special arrangements at some locations so social distancing guidelines can be followed. If this isn’t possible, we may not be able to open them all at this stage. We will continue to keep residents informed through our usual channels.”
The Council has received several requests to re-open the car park at Sandy Lane to allow people better access to the River Dee. This is one of the locations under review at the moment and remains closed.
If anyone uses the River Dee path for daily exercise or recreation it is advised that they follow national guidelines for their sport and take extra care to keep themselves safe, while also following current social distancing rules.