RESTRICTIONS have been lifted for parks and playgrounds across South Somerset.

Many of the open spaces in the district reopened to the public on Saturday (July 4).

Signage being put in place will remind people to maintain social distancing, to sanitise their hands and not to eat and drink whilst using play equipment.

A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said: “As part of the Government’s proposals to ease some of the lockdown restrictions which have been in place since March, play areas can once again open to the public as long as a number of safety measures have been put in place.”

As part of this work, SSDC teams have been: n Carrying out detailed safety inspections of all our sites n Continued maintenance to ensure the equipment is safe, and this has included the provision of new equipment in some areas n Setting up a schedule of final inspections for all sites including installing new temporary signage to ensure public safety The SSDC spokesman added: “We would ask residents not to use any of the sites until our teams have removed barriers or the cable ties which have been securing gates and entrances.

“If you find a site remains closed, there will be a reason and it is likely to be safety related. We will be reviewing all sites on a regular basis to ensure they can all be safely opened.”

Cllr Mike Best is the portfolio holder for health and wellbeing on SSDC.

He said: “We want to thank all of our residents who have been very understanding about the need to close our parks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“With some restrictions being lifted, we are very happy to open our sites once again so people can enjoy the health benefits of the fantastic sites that can be found all across the district.

“But we ask anyone visiting to please follow the guidance that is available.

“This is so important for the safety of all in our communities as we try to minimise the spread of this terrible virus.”

Among the playgrounds to reopen are those in West Crescent and Winterhay Lane, in Ilminster.

A town council spokesman said: “We ask people to continue to follow social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble and take hygiene precautions by washing your hands or use hand sanitisers when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow.

“We also ask that residents please keep our sites clean and tidy, using the bins provided or take litter home.”