Wales opens children's SOFT PLAY centres from today

Wales opens children’s SOFT PLAY centres from today after deciding under-11s pose low risk of spreading coronavirus

  • Soft play centres are reopening in Wales from today for first time since March
  • Facilities in rest of UK have not been given a date for getting up and running 
  • Experts increasingly say younger children pose a lower risk of spreading Covid 

Wales is reopening soft play centres from today after concluding under-11s pose a low risk of spreading coronavirus.

Facilities in the rest of the UK have still not been given a date to get back up and running.

But Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the move in Wales, although some areas that cannot be easily cleaned, such as ball pits, will have to remain shut. 

Gyms and indoors swimming pools have also been given the green light to open their doors again.

Carol James, owner of Tiny Tumblers, in Church Village, near Pontypridd told the BBC she had been taken aback by the decision.

A deserted soft play in Manchester last month. Facilities in England have not yet been given a date when they can reopen 

‘We were waiting for England to get the go-ahead, then we thought we would be about three weeks behind England,’ she said.

Gwen Evans, owner of Cantref Adventure Farm in Brecon, said the news had come ‘very suddenly’.

The latest changes to coronavirus regulations in Wales have come into force a week after pubs and restaurants were able to open indoors for the first time since March.

Under-11s have also been exempted from social distancing from adults and their friends, as they are seen as having lower risk of transmitting the disease. 

The Welsh Government said it is ‘continuing to explore’ whether people can be allowed to meet indoors others who are not already part of their extended household from August 15.

It has also boosted powers given to local authorities to ensure newly reopened businesses and workplaces adhere to laws designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

They include making sure people keep a two-metre distance where possible, and taking measures to avoid close interaction like using protective screens, improving hygiene, and wearing face coverings on public transport.

Enforcement officers will be allowed to issue a Premises Improvement Notice to highlight breaches of the rules and state what measures need be taken in order to comply with them, or face being temporarily shut down.

Signs will be displayed in a prominent place for businesses or workplaces that are given a Premises Closure Notice informing the public that improvement is needed or that it has had to close.

Mr Drakeford said following the rules is ‘essential’ if the country is to avoid following other parts of the world and entering another lockdown.

‘As more parts of our society and economy reopen, it is vital we all keep in mind our personal responsibility to do the right thing and make sure we continue to protect ourselves and others from the virus,’ he said.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the move in Wales on Friday after experts concluded young children pose low risk of spreading coronavirus

‘This means keeping a two-metre distance from others, washing our hands often and wearing a face mask on public transport. These are simple steps to take that benefit us all.

‘The rules we have in place are not optional, they are there to protect us all. They are essential if Wales is to avoid another lockdown.’

He added: ‘As we have seen in many places around the world, this pandemic is far from over and we must remain vigilant. There is a significant risk cases in Wales could rise again and we will have to take further action if this were to happen.

‘Only by us all continuing to do our part can we keep Wales safe.’

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