TOWN council services including mini golf and the skatepark will re-open when the national lockdown is lifted.
It was announced today Dorset would move to Tier 2 restrictions when lockdown ends on December 2, which means the county is on high alert.
Many of the key council facilities have been able to remain open during the four weeks of lockdown, which started on November 5.
But the restrictions meant the mini golf and table tennis in Lister Gardens, the skatepark, and Marine Parade shelters were closed, weddings were unable to take place at the Guildhall, and overnight stays were not permitted at the chalet and caravan park.
The government’s decision to place Dorset in Tier 2 means all these facilities can now re-open.
The guidance allows for leisure and sporting facilities to operate, so the amenities area will re-open on December 5, while the skatepark will re-open on December 2.
As previously, numbers playing on the mini golf course will be restricted to ensure social distancing can be maintained, equipment will be cleaned after use, and contactless payment is encouraged.
At the skatepark, people are asked to observe the ‘hands, face, space’ protocol and follow the rules on meeting others safely.
The guidance states both essential and non-essential retail can remain open, so stalls can operate from the market and performance areas at the Marine Parade shelters.
Weddings will go ahead at the Guildhall, with two ceremonies due to take place in December, but they will be limited to 15 people.
During the national lockdown, overnight stays in a caravan or chalet were not allowed but this restriction has now been lifted to allow a household or support bubble to stay away overnight.
The council office will remain closed, as the government advice is to continue to work from home if you can.
The external works’ team will be working as ‘normal’, each staying within their own zones in the town and following safe working practices.
All services and facilities which were able to continue to operate during the lockdown will carry on as before, including car parks, public toilets, the town bus, funerals with 30 people attending, beach hut hire, play parks, beaches and the allotments.
Town clerk John Wright said: “The announcement that Dorset will move into Tier 2 means we can fully operate all our services, albeit with some additional measures in place to ensure everyone remains safe.
“Although the guidance allows us to do this, the government has also advised people in Tier 2 to reduce the number of journeys they make, walk or cycle if possible, and avoid busy times.
“We would encourage people to heed that advice and act reasonably within the guidelines. Think about taking exercise at quieter times, such as early in the morning or late-evening, only use facilities such as the play parks and skateparks if they aren’t too crowded, and when out and about, remember to wash or sanitise your hands regularly, wear a face covering, and stay two metres apart from other people.”