THE Vale council has allowed limited access to parks and country parks for local residents to exercise,

The change follows the small adjustments to coronavirus restrictions recently announced by Welsh Government.

Porthkerry, Cosmeston, and other parks were be available for exercise only to those living locally from Saturday.

But, leisure activities such as sunbathing, picnicking, barbecues and social gathering remain prohibited as does the use of any play equipment.

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Facilities within the locations such as public toilets and other amenities will remain closed and it is recommended visitors bring hand sanitiser for personal use.

Those living outside the immediate area should not be using these spaces as, though exercise is now permitted more than once a day, it should start and end at home and not involve travelling a significant distance.

All parking facilities within the parks will remain closed to the public.

When exercising, it is vital residents continue to adhere to social distancing guidance by staying at least two metres from anyone not in their household.

Signs informing people of the new regulations will be installed in the coming days and council enforcement officers will be making regular visits to parks to ensure everyone is staying safe.

All play areas will remain closed for safety reasons, as the coronavirus can remain active on hard surfaces for 72 hours.

Vale council leader, Cllr Neil Moore said: “The council has been regularly reviewing the services that are able to operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic and that includes the operation of country and local parks.

“Following the first minister’s announcement last week, I’m pleased to be able to announce that there will be a change to the restrictions in local parks and country parks so that local residents can exercise, while still adhering to social distancing.

“However, coronavirus remains a very real threat and these facilities must be used responsibly in line with Welsh Government guidance.

“While exercise is permitted, social gathering and any other form of leisure activity is not, and they should only be used by those living locally.

"I recognise the benefit of these areas to local residents, but safety remains our primary concern.

"If the sites are not used properly we will be forced to close them again.

"I sincerely hope that will not be necessary.”