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Dublin City Council says playgrounds will stay closed despite government announcement

The government announced that children can return to playgrounds as the country embarks on Phase Two.

Playgrounds will re-open on Monday.
Playgrounds will re-open on Monday.
Image: Shutterstock/Valmedia

Updated Jun 5th 2020, 9:11 PM

PLAYGROUNDS WILL RE-OPEN next week as part of Phase Two of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the government announced today. 

On Monday 8 June, outdoor summer camps are allowed to operate for secondary school children, while playgrounds will be permitted to re-open. 

The summer camps will need to be limited to no more than 15 people. 

Speaking this afternoon as the new Phase Two guidance was announced, Minister for Health Simon Harris told children and parents that from Monday “you can now visit playgrounds, maybe go to a summer camp, perhaps start your sports training again”.

Speaking directly to children, Harris said: “If you continue to listen to your parents, listen to doctors, listen to Dr Tony, and indeed, Dr Leo, you’ll be able to do even more in a few weeks time. I know it’s not everything you want. But it is a start.”

Commercially-run outdoor amenities have been permitted to re-open too. 

However, this evening Dublin City Council confirmed that it would not be re-opening playgrounds from Monday. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the council said that it “does not operate supervised playgrounds”.

“Pending further clarification, Dublin City Council will not be re-opening any playgrounds from Monday 8 June,” the spokesperson said.

Dublin City Council has not suggested when playgrounds in the city might re-open. 

The decision casts doubt on whether council-run playgrounds across the country will re-open in the coming weeks. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said that he hoped that museums, as well as galleries, would be able to re-open on 29 June. 

This afternoon, Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed that a summer education programme will take place for children with significant educational needs and for those in disadvantaged areas. 

“The programme will help children to renew relationships, routines and connections with school and with learning and help to support ongoing social development and wellbeing,” McHugh said. 

The Department of Education is expected to engage with schools in the coming weeks about the programme. 

“Teachers and SNAs have worked harder than ever since schools closed 12 weeks ago in order to support our young people. We are grateful for their work. And I know they will try to do whatever they can to support this Summer Programme,” he said. 

Phrase Three will begin on 29 June and Phase Four will start on 20 July.

Phase Five – originally due to begin on 10 August – has been scrapped and a number of measures have been brought forward.

Here are five things you should know for Phase Two:

  • Stay Local: You may travel within your own county, and up to 20km from your home if crossing county boundaries.
  • Meeting other people: You may meet up to six people from outside your household both indoors and outdoors for social gatherings. Organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities of up to 15 people may take place
  • Shops: All retail is reopening. Shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community.
  • Work from home: It is more important than ever to work from home where possible.
  • Transport: Walk or cycle if you can. Only use public transport if you absolutely need to. Public transport capacity is limited because of social distancing requirements.

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Phase One of the reopening plan – which saw the return of construction workers, and large-scale hardware retailers opening their doors once again – began on 18 May. 

A five-stage Roadmap plan outlining how restrictions would be unwound was announced at the start of last month.

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