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Image / Editorial

Coronavirus: Dublin councils now close children’s playgrounds

by Jennifer McShane
14th Mar 2020

Dublin City Council has decided to close all of its children’s playgrounds in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The council “revised” an earlier decision to keep many playgrounds in its area open after concerns were raised by councillors.

Officials said the parks are being closed on the advice of the HSE.

The u-turn comes after concerns were raised when councillors were told it was “not possible” to close playgrounds operated by the Council, while other local authorities have closed their facilities in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Related: ‘Out of crisis comes opportunity’: 10 ways to keep perspective during COVID-19 social distancing

The move announced on Saturday afternoon comes after households and parents were urged to avoid having playdates over the next two weeks as children remain at home as the Republic tackles the spread of the virus.

If youngsters were to play football outdoors they were asked to confine groups to three or four while maintaining social distancing of two metres from each other, according to the Department of Health.

The new rules of child behaviour were unveiled by deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn, who said: “This is a time to be mindful of the public health guidelines and apply these measures to your daily lives.”

The rules enforced had to be “doable” for families but the guidelines were not enough and now all parks are closed until at least March 29. Some parks will remain open, however, even with the playground closures; Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council and Clare County Council stated they are closing playgrounds but parks will remain open.

It is hoped that this action will assist in further limiting the spread of the virus.

Reduce “discretionary contacts”

The HSE said that everyone should reduce “discretionary contacts” as much as possible.

They should also reduce working contacts and do their job remotely if they can.

If people are sick they need to stay at home.

A number of army cadets are now helping the HSE with contact tracing of people who test positive.

Read more: A list of Irish businesses and people offering acts of generosity during the coronavirus lockdown