Play Streets

COVID-19

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Play Streets and Covid-19 – Top Tips

We are hearing from parents and residents around the UK, asking how to get play streets going as we emerge from lockdown. Below are some tips for running a playing out session at this time.

Our main page with guidance for running a play street is here.

Consultation and inclusion

You might have increased connection on your street since the lockdown – so use those WhatsApp or Facebook groups to get a discussion going! You could send them our short film here and see if there’s interest. To discuss further, you could suggest an online meeting (zoom is free for 40mins). But don’t forget that not everyone will be online, so leafletting and / or careful door knocking (stepping back to socially distance) is still important.  Watch our 3min film for more general info and guidance on talking to your neighbours.

Older or vulnerable people who are shielding in particular must be considered carefully, because of the increased anxieties around social activity at this time. Luckily because it is an organised session at a specific time, they can avoid it if that’s the most comfortable option for them.

Residents only

As always with a play street, only publicise the play street on your own street, no further, to keep the numbers down. Ask everyone to ensure they have the NHS Track and Trace app activated on their phones, or take a note of attendance.

Stewarding

This needs particular consideration in relation to Covid guidelines. Can volunteers be briefed online, or at a distance in the street? How can they deal with cars whilst keeping a safe distance from each other and from drivers? All this needs to be discussed and agreed in advance – masks may be a really good idea when stewards are needing to interact with others.

Hygiene

No shared equipment, everyone uses their own toilet, toys, mugs of tea etc. Have hand sanitiser available on the street so people can easily wash hands after touching cones and signs.

Collective responsibility

We always encourage neighbours to take collective responsibility for the safety and smooth running of play street sessions and this is even more important now. Parents will be responsible for reminding their children to keep distanced. See here for ideas for physically-distanced street play and games we’ve gathered so far from our network.

Some councils have added a section to their application forms asking people how they will manage distancing.

Further Guidance

Our friends at London Play have written an excellent in-depth risk-benefit guidance document for residents considering play streets, which you can download here.

We also have two great stories from residents who have run a play street safely at this time, Lucy in Peckham and Fern in Streatham, take a look to see how they did. You can also join our Facebook Group for advice and support from other parents and residents.

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