Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has brought together 42 of his Parliamentary colleagues to write to the Prime Minister to ask for more certainty to be provided for owners and operators of indoor soft play businesses which have closed during the coronavirus outbreak. This follows his meeting with Darren and Lorraine Malt, who run The Adventure Zone based at Somers Road in Rugby.
All indoor play centres have been closed across the country because of the coronavirus outbreak, and there is growing concern within the industry that without the ability to reopen or further government intervention, much of the industry will close by October.
Mark visited The Adventure Zone to find out how they could reopen safely for children and parents. This would involve a significantly reduced capacity to enable social distancing, ordering table service using an app and using the Track-and-Trace system to keep a record of visitors. Mark was also told by Darren and Lorraine about how their sanitising protocols would be even more rigorous than before the pandemic to ensure that surfaces would be regularly disinfected.
Following his visit, Mark wrote to the Prime Minister and urged him to reconsider the ongoing enforced closure of indoor play areas.
“I was very interested to hear from Darren and Lorraine about the steps which play areas can take to minimise the risks of transmission of coronavirus. However, without the ability to plan for a re-opening, businesses such as The Adventure Zone are rapidly approaching a cliff edge which would lead to many of these centres closing for good which would be a tremendous loss.”
“The evidence shows that there is minimal risk of transmission between children, and indoor play areas are a good way to improve the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and young people. It also has the potential to improve childhood obesity as part of the Government’s overall strategy on public health. As such, I believe the time is right for the Government to allow soft play to reopen safely.”