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Advice provided to Welsh Ministers on indoor gyms, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and funfairs. 

First published:
17 July 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I have reviewed the proposed amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and I believe they constitute a suitably cautious approach to the re-opening of public life in Wales.

My advice continues to be informed by the outputs of the UK Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) and the Welsh Technical Advisory Cell (TAC), and through discussions with Chief Medical Officers in the 4 Nations and the Chief Economic Advisor in Wales. The proposed amendments are supported by a continued reduction in transmission of the coronavirus in Wales, by improved surveillance, by the successful establishment of our Test Trace Protect (TTP) Programme, and by the successful identification and management of recent coronavirus outbreaks and incidents in Wales.

It is likely that we will need to live with the prospect of a resurgence of coronavirus infection for a considerable time and our best protections against this continue to be the promotion of appropriate public behaviour, monitoring of international experiences, effective surveillance to identify disease resurgence, effective case and contact management, and robust outbreak identification and management.

Overall advice

  1. I recommend that the proposed amendments are adopted for playgrounds, outdoor gyms and funfairs alongside the planned mitigations; regular cleaning, signage and specific guidance on reduced capacity limits, physical distancing and good hygiene. Guidance should also outline the procedure for staff training where applicable and links to the Test Trace Protect programme. 
  2. I note the reopening of playgrounds, in particular, supports additional equity for children and provides more opportunities for physical and mental health benefits associated with play over the summer break.  
  3. I note that making these changes to ease restrictions constitutes an acceptable risk at this time as the prevalence of coronavirus is low and waning; any increased viral transmission should lead to a re-evaluation and we should plan and prepare for the partial or full reversal of these easements if necessary.  

Frank Atherton

Chief Medical Officer

Welsh Government

15 July 2020