Amid falling coronavirus infection rates, Harlow Council has deemed it safe enough to reopen its playgrounds and car parks.

The playgrounds and car parks have been closed for just over a month while Harlow’s infection rates soared and were among the highest in the country.

However, with the rate of infection – expressed as the number of new cases a week per 100,000 people – now below 150, the council has moved to reopen its 43 playgrounds and the car parks serving the Town Park.

When the council closed the playgrounds on January 15 the rate of infection stood at a whopping 1,238.

Although the town retains one of the highest case rates in Essex, Harlow’s rate continues to fall and is currently below the national average.

Yesterday (February 17), council staff started work to remove locks and closure signage from playgrounds and have carried out inspections of equipment.

So far 22 playgrounds have reopened.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Families are reminded to wash hands, cover faces and make space when using playgrounds to protect themselves and others from Covid-19."

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