PLAY areas and outdoor gyms across Test Valley will reopen to the public on Saturday, July 4.

After the government announced an easing of lockdown restrictions on June 23, teams from the Test Valley Borough Council's environmental and community and leisure services have been carrying out inspections and risk assessments of play areas and outdoor gyms across the region.

More than 100 sites have now been inspected in accordance with government’s guidance for managing these areas.

Padlocks will be removed early on Saturday morning, with clear signage put in place, detailing the social distancing requirements for those using the areas. Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands before and after leaving home, and use alcohol gel as soon as they are finished using the equipment.

Council leader, councillor Phil North, said: “More than 13 weeks have passed since central government announced the nationwide lockdown and play areas and outdoor gyms have been missed by so many, especially during the recent sunny weather. Now, children will be able to enjoy their local play area once again, and those who are keen to exercise with gym equipment can now safely do so when following the guidance.

“We must all still remain cautious and continue to wash hands and follow the latest advice.”