PLAYGROUNDS across Southend are still closed this weekend...but they will re-open as soon as council bosses believe it’s safe.

Southend Council is considering how it can start to safely re-open the 38 playgrounds in the town following new guidance from Government.

This states councils could start to re-open play areas from this Saturday with comprehensive Covid-19 secure measures in place.

Lib Dem councillor Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, suggested measures could include limiting the number of people who can use the playground at one time.

She said: “The Government guidance on reopening playgrounds, whilst broadly welcomed, requires comprehensive Covid-19 secure risk assessments and measures to be put in place, including the possibility of limiting the number of people who can use the playground at one time.

“We recognise the important role playgrounds have for children’s wellbeing and we are committed to reopening them.  “But we need first to work out how we can put the complex guidance into practice at all of our sites and will only reopen once we are entirely satisfied that it is safe to do so.”

She added: “We have a duty to protect the public and our staff and do what we can to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 in order to avoid the sort of local lockdown being experienced in Leicester. We’ve taken this responsibility seriously and I trust residents will understand that we do not wish to rush into reopening playgrounds without due thought and care.

“We will make further announcements about re-openings as our work in this area progresses.”

Southend Council are set to publish guidance on their website on how to safely use play areas when they re-open.