Can soft play centres open again?

Can soft play centres open again?

SOFT play centres are back from August 15 following the coronavirus lockdown.

They are among the last leisure businesses and activities permitted to open as some are deemed more Covid-19 secure than others.

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When will soft play centres open?

Soft play centres are back from August 15 – except in areas where there are still lockdown restrictions.

The government announced that they can join gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools as well as casinos and bowling alleys.

Music venues, comedy clubs and theatres can also throw open their doors tomorrow as restrictions are lifted.

Indoor play centres reopened in Wales on Monday, August 10, but ball pits will remain closed as they are hard to clean.

What can reopen from August 15 and what's still closed

CASINOS and bowling alleys were initially among a list of businesses due to reopen on August 1, but this was delayed after a spike in infections at the end of July.

Businesses that can reopen from August 15:

  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys
  • Ice-skating rinks
  • Facial treatments at beauty salons
  • Theatres, music halls and other venues can open for socially distanced audiences

Businesses than can reopen from October:

  • Sports stadiums welcome back fans
  • Conferences can go ahead
  • Strip clubs

Businesses that must stay closed:

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars


The UK government website clarifies that outdoor areas, which have been open since July 4, are far less likely to aid the spread of the virus than indoor spaces.

It reads: "Scientific advice suggests that the virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces, particularly when indoors.

"These risks are reduced when outdoors, where surfaces may be subject to UV light and/or rain.”

What are the new rules in soft play centres?

Soft play areas are implementing measures such as hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system around the soft play area, and protective screens at reception and cafes.

The areas will also be constantly cleaned with the use of electrostatic spray systems to prevent the virus lingering on surfaces.

Visitor numbers may be limited to allow people to remain at a one metre distance from each other.

Measures include:

  • Reduced visitor capacity
  • Online pre-booking
  • Temperature checks for staff and visitors
  • Removing tables and chairs to separate family groups
  • Perspex screens at reception and cafes
  • Hand sanitiser units and extra hand washing stations
  • Increased cleaning
  • Air sterilisation and ventilation
  • New cafe procedures
  • Antibacterial fogging
  • Removal of loose play items like ball pits

How will social distancing work in soft play centres?

Soft play centres are getting ready to reopen this weekend.

Many, such as Riverside Hub in Northampton, have implemented new policies to allow children and accompanying adults to remain safe.

Visitors over the age of 11 will have to wear face coverings.

Adults will also be required to keep their children socially distanced and must supervise them at all times.

There will also be socially distanced tables, like you get at the pub.


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