Some council-owned outdoor sports facilities to reopen
The council and its contractors are taking a cautious approach and reopening those facilities where government guidance can be met and safely monitored.
The outdoor tennis courts at Stratton Park in Basingstoke, the athletics track at Down Grange Sports Complex in Basingstoke and council multi-use games areas and some ball parks in the borough are reopening today (Thursday) for people to use for exercise, as long as they follow social distancing guidance.
The outdoor tennis courts at Totally Tennis in War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, have also reopened today and these courts can be booked on the Totally Tennis website. The rest of the Totally Tennis indoor facilities will remain closed, this includes changing facilities and toilets.
The outdoor nine hole par-three golf course at Basingstoke Golf Centre, owned by the council and managed by Serco, will reopen on Saturday morning (16 May) with online booking and social distancing measures in place to ensure safety. The adventure golf and the driving range will remain closed as will the club house, changing facilities and toilets.
Signage has gone up telling people using the facilities they must to keep a safe space of at least two metres from people not in their household. People should not use a facility if it is busy and social distancing guidance cannot be met. All sites will be monitored and could be closed if social distancing measures are not being applied.
On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new guidance allowing people unlimited exercise outdoors from Wednesday 13 May, while maintaining a safe space of two metres from those people outside of their household.
The new guidance states people can exercise with members of their household, or with one other person from outside their household. Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities can reopen from Wednesday 13 May 2020, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance. However, outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools must remain closed.
Cabinet Member for Borough Development and Improvement Cllr Rebecca Bean said: “We have carefully reviewed the latest guidance and considered how we can safely reopen some of the outdoor exercise facilities we are responsible for in the borough. We understand residents will want to use these facilities now that they can spend more time outdoors, but it is essential that we have the correct measures in place and are satisfied we can ensure everyone’s safety.
“It is also really important that people are following the government guidance when using these facilities, to protect themselves and others during this pandemic. We will monitor the sites and will not hesitate to close them if we are concerned that public safety cannot be maintain. These facilities can remain open under the current Government guidance if people remain sensible and considerate of others.”
For more information about the measures in place at Totally Tennis visit www.totallytennis.co.uk/covid-19
For more information about the Golf Centre visit www.basingstokeleisure.com/basingstoke_golf
For more information about the council’s outdoor sports facilities visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk