Guidance on Play Areas

On 26 June, the government produced guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms. NALC will be engaging with the government on the impractical nature of much of this guidance and the financial implication for local councils.

RoSPA has provided NALC with additional information to complement government guidance:

The government has announced that in England children's playgrounds are allowed to open from 4 July 2020. It is important that playgrounds are suitably safe for use and have an effective inspection and maintenance regime in place prior to opening.


  • It is important that playgrounds are inspected before opening to ensure they are suitably safe for visitors. The British Standard EN 1176-1:2017 sets out a three-tier inspection system: a) routine visual inspections, b) operational inspections, and c) annual main inspections.
  • We recommend that all playgrounds are up to date with their inspections before opening to the public.
  • It is likely that playgrounds will be used heavily once they are opened. It is therefore important that operators consider the frequency of their inspections. It may be that routine inspection will need to be undertaken more often to detect problems arising from misuse, vandalism, litter, wear and tear and weather conditions.

Re-opening and hygiene

Playgrounds must be opened in a safe way in accordance with government guidance. If the playground remains closed then it is important that it is still inspected. It is also important that any closure measures (such as signage and locks) remain in place and remain effective. These measures will need to be checked during routine inspections.

Advice for users and parents

  • Children and parents must not interfere with closure measures where a playground remains closed. If it is closed then this will be for a good reason. Do not endanger yourself by breaching closure measures. Wait until the playground has been opened properly.
  • Maintain social distancing within the playground, according to the government's latest advice.
  • If the playground is too busy then find another playground in which to play.
  • Wash your hands before entering the playground and after you have finished. Use hand sanitiser often.

Posted: Tue, 30 Jun 2020 12:34 by Wendy Amis

Tags: Coronavirus, Useful