PLAY parks in parts of Oxfordshire are beginning to reopen after closing for safety fears during lockdown.

Play areas across the UK have been closed during lockdown because the Government thought coronavirus could be left on surfaces by infected children, which could pass it on.

From today, monkey bars and roundabouts in Oxford will begin to reopen, first in larger parks, then followed by smaller ones in coming weeks.

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The city council looks after 80 play areas so it will take some time before all are fully opened.

Meanwhile in the Vale of White Horse, play areas start to open from Monday.

The first play area to re-open will be at Abbey Meadow in Abingdon, followed by others across the town.

The council will then check play areas in Wantage and Faringdon later in the week.

South Oxfordshire's play areas are not maintained by the district council, but by local parishes and communities, so these will open on a different schedule.

Linda Smith, Oxford City Council's cabinet member for leisure and parks, said: “Our city has some wonderful play areas and I’m pleased that Government regulations now allow us to reopen them. Parents will need to help their children follow the guidance on hand washing and maintaining a safe social distance as... coronavirus has not gone away.”