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From Monday 12 April we will begin to open our outdoor play areas once again. 56 play areas were closed in January as part of our work to protect the public from a rapid increase in Coronavirus cases in Stevenage.

Our four Green Flag sites will open today:

  • Fairlands Valley Park
  • Town Centre Gardens
  • Hampson Park
  • Shephalbury Park

We will then focus on opening up other larger sites first, including:

  • York Road
  • Canterbury Way Playing Fields
  • St Nicholas Park
  • Emperors Head
  • Chepstow Close
  • Chells Park
  • Campshill Park
  • Ridlins End Playing Fields
  • Blenheim Way
  • The Noke / Burydale
  • Peartree Park
  • Donkey Park
  • Bedwell Park
  • King George V Playing Fields
  • Burymead
  • Whitesmead Rec
  • Meadway Park

The smaller sites will be opened up later in the week, ward by ward: Woodfield, St Nicholas, Martins Wood, Chells, Shephall, Bandley Hill, Longmeadow, Roebuck, Bedwell, Symonds Green and Pin Green.

To ensure we keep the public safe and aware Covid safety measures still apply, there will be advisory signage installed at each site and additional Covid Marshalls will continue to patrol and remind people of social distancing rules.

Our team is continuing to liaise with the Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire and Public Health England to seek their advice on Covid related issues.

Information on the decision

Throughout the lockdown we have regularly reviewed the data – including the average case rates per 100,000 people for a number of different age groups in Stevenage – and have taken advice from Jim McManus,the Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council.

In January, the rates for 0-11 year olds had risen to 429.4 per 100,000 which was of great concern. However, as at 5 April the case rate for 0-11 year olds stood at 7.04 cases per 100,000 and we are monitoring a reduced number of cases across our town amongst other age groups.

The council’s Covid team has worked hard with support from other agencies including the Police to encourage residents to follow the guidelines in order to lower the number of positive cases in Stevenage. Vaccination take up amongst eligible adults is good and we have seen a significant reduction in the number of patients being treated in hospital for Covid.

To ensure we keep the public safe and aware Covid safety measures still apply, there will be advisory signage installed at each site and additional Covid Marshalls will continue to patrol and remind people of social distancing rules.

Our team is continuing to liaise with the Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire and Public Health England to seek their advice on Covid related issues.

We will continue with our weekly inspection and cleaning process for the play areas.