Johannesburg – City Parks has said as parks open, so that residents can keep healthy by exercising near their homes, the onus is on them to observe safety precautions against Covid-19 infection.
To allow for a phased-in approach because of limited resources, City Parks said nature reserves, including The Wilds, Kloofendal, Klipriversberg and the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens will open from 1 August.
Mandatory requirements for park visitors are that they wear masks; practise minimum social distancing of three metres; events or gatherings are not allowed; ensure hands are washed and sanitised before entering parks; exercise only with persons within your household, limited to five people; refrain from using ablution facilities and playgrounds; remind children that use of the gym and play equipment is restricted; take all disposables home, including empty bottles and paper cups; leave all valuables at home to avoid opportunistic crime; and abide by existing public spaces bylaws.
Joburg Community Development MMC Margaret Arnolds warned residents that responsibility to prevent the spread of the corona virus remains in the hands of every park user.
“The presidency has heard your call to open up parks, particularly for residents who do not have access to space to exercise. Responsibility therefore to exercise with caution, lies in the hands of every individual. Common sense must prevail. If you are feeling unwell, self-isolating or if there are too many park users, then protect your loved ones by staying at home,” Arnolds said.
She also urged park users to carry their own sanitiser.
City Parks said it had also been affected by Covid-19 infections, resulting in some depots being temporarily closed to enable operational and security staff to self-isolate.
“This delayed opening of conservation areas and nature reserves is due to scarce resources and the need for employees to be issued with proper personnel protection.” Arnolds said.