National restrictions are in place. Learn what this means if you live or work in Westminster.

Reopening Westminster - Community Facilities

Tue, 07/07/2020

Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and more are unlocked as Westminster continues to reopen

Additional regular cleaning and checks have been implemented to ensure safety

Playgrounds, outdoor gyms, libraries, and wedding venues were among the multitude of places that were allowed to reopen across the city this weekend, in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions introduced by the government.

On Saturday, in Westminster, 49 playgrounds, 8 outdoor gyms, 4 libraries, and multiple wedding venues will be open to the public after 3 months of forced closure. Additionally, nearly all libraries are now open in Westminster from today. Additional safety measures have been implemented to ensure that these facilities can be used safely and appropriately by the public.

Facilities like this are integral to communities, and it is hoped that as lockdown restrictions are slowly eased a new kind of socialising will exist within these facilities, adhering to guidelines, and looking after each other with a revitalised sense of community spirit.

To mark this occasion Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Community Services and Digital, Cllr Paul Swaddle carried out a visit to an outdoor gym in St John’s Wood, as well as Church Street Library.

Cllr Paul Swaddle said:

“The reopening of these facilities represents a hugely important step in the continued safe reopening of the City. Our residents are paramount in our decision making and the balancing of their safety and needs has been thoroughly considered in our plans for reopening.

“Our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure that these facilities can open and be used by residents in safe and appropriate way, and this will continue to be monitored as circumstances continue to develop and change. We are and will continue to promote the guidance from the government, while asking our residents to act responsibly to help keep each other safe and keep these vital facilities open.”

Parks, playgrounds, and outdoor gyms have seen increased signage adorning their fences advising visitors and users of social distancing, and how to use equipment in a safe and appropriate way. Extra measures such as increased regular cleaning and checks are also part of the comprehensive plan the council has implemented to balance the integral safety of residents, and their general wellbeing, socialisation, and active lifestyles.

Social distancing markers and signage have been implemented throughout the library buildings advising users of the government guidance and enabling them to use the facilities safely.

This March marked the centenary for Old Marylebone Town Hall, and lockdown represents its only forced closure in that time. From Saturday, couples who had been desperate to tie the knot were once again able to do so, in an albeit unconventional way.

Strict capacity ceremonies with social distanced layouts will ensure that the bride, groom, guests, and registrars can all remain safe while celebrating marriages.

Last updated: 7 July 2020