SOME indoor leisure facilities were allowed to reopen in July following the coronavirus lockdown.
Yet, while swimming pools and gyms are set to allow customers back in this month, not all leisure businesses and activities are permitted to open as some are deemed more Covid-19 secure than others.
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When will soft play centres open?
The government announced that certain leisure businesses could reopen in July, including gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools.
But sadly, the Prime Minister confirmed that soft play centres would remain closed – but under review – due to ongoing concerns over social distancing among children and the cleaning of soft play areas.
Indoor play centres reopened in Wales on Monday, August 10, but remain closed in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland for now as a reopening date has not been set yet.
In a statement, the Welsh Government said: "Children’s indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes to the coronavirus regulations in Wales.
"However, areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed."
The UK government website clarifies that outdoor areas, which have been open since July 4, are far less likely to aid the spread of the virus than indoor spaces.
It reads: "“Scientific advice suggests that the virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces, particularly when indoors.
"These risks are reduced when outdoors, where surfaces may be subject to UV light and/or rain.”
What are the new rules in soft play centres?
Soft play areas could implement measures such as hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system around the soft play area, and protective screens at reception.
The areas could also be deep cleaned with the use of electrostatic spray systems to prevent the virus lingering on surfaces.
Visitor numbers may be limited to allow people to remain at a one metre distance from each other.
How will social distancing work in soft play centres?
On June 23, Boris Johnson advised people to remain at least one metre apart with social distancing rule reduced from its original spec of remaining two metres apart.
But when it comes to enclosed soft play areas, social distancing will be more difficult to measure in spaces such as balls pits and climbing areas.
The frequent cleaning of these spaces could also be difficult.
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