Wales

Coronavirus: Wales' playgrounds and outdoor gyms reopen

Sam Barnett at Aberdare Park
Image caption Sam Barnett at Aberdare Park with her daughter

Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and funfairs are now able to reopen in Wales after being shut during the coronavirus lockdown.

It is the latest round of measures to ease restrictions.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes were able to resume trading outdoors from last Monday, and hairdressers were also able to reopen.

From 27 July, cinemas, museums and galleries, beauty salons and tattoo parlours can also reopen.

However things will not be immediately back to normal, with Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire confirming some attractions will stay closed, admission will be on an advanced ticketing basis and there will be limited opening hours.

And it is up to individual councils whether they reopen their facilities, with Neath Port Talbot council's playgrounds not reopening for another week.

Councils can also set rules such as only one adult being allowed to accompany children at a time, and banning food and drink.

Community centres are also able to reopen from Monday, meaning some childcare schemes will be able to operate again - on the same day some councils are ending childcare provision for key workers for the summer.

Image caption Back training: Mark Humphries is opening outdoor sessions at his gym

Mark Humprhies owns a gym in Bangor, Gwynedd, and is opening up again for clients after three months of online-only classes.

His car park will now become an open air venue for "bootcamp-style" training session, along with local playing fields.

"We are only allowed to have 30 people in the sessions, and they are already filling up," he told BBC Radio Wales' Breakfast programme.

"At the end of the day, we do live in Wales - so come rain or shine we are going to go for it."

Image caption Alison Davies said her children had missed the play area "big time"

Alison Davies visited Aberdare Park with her children for the play area reopening.

She said: "It's nice, the kids have been really really looking forward to it.

"Since we've been stuck in, we've come here for walks and things and they can see it all and they've been desperate to get on the swings and the slides.

"They've been really missing it. It's just something a bit extra to keep them occupied. They've missed it big time."

Sam Barnett also brought her two young daughters with her to the park, and was delighted so see it open.

"It means the world because obviously they've been stuck indoors now for months," she said.

"I'm from Cwmaman so we do have a lot of mountain areas but its not quite the same to have fun with them here, so it's good.

"I have told them not to put their hands in their mouths until we get to the car because we've got hand sanitiser there in my bag but I don't want to push my anxieties onto them. We will be cautious but not overly cautious."

It comes as Public Health Wales (PHW) reported 31 new cases on Sunday, meaning 16,928 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Wales.

The rise of 31 cases is the largest since 6 July - the day the Welsh Government eased the stay local lockdown restrictions.

PHW have said 1,547 people have died with coronavirus, but Office for National Statistics figures shows that figure is at least 2,470 when all registered deaths where Covid-19 is suspected or proven are included.

On Thursday it was announced that those most at risk from coronavirus can stop shielding after 16 August.

About 130,000 people in Wales with underlying health conditions had been advised to stay indoors since the start of the pandemic to protect themselves.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lockdown measures have been in place in Wales since March

Addressing the final daily coronavirus briefing on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "A tiny proportion of people tested in Wales are turning out to have coronavirus.

"We continue to look carefully at the latest medical and scientific evidence and the current state of the virus as we make decisions to unlock our society and economy.

"With rates of the virus in Wales continuing to fall, we are able to carry on with our gradual, step-by-step lifting of the restrictions."

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