Outdoor playgrounds and training facilities to remain open

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Playgrounds in Tartu were closed on March 24 2020. Source: Mana Kaasik

In the spring of 2020, cities closed off playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities as a means to combat the spread of COVID-19, but the measure will no longer be put in use as people need to have options to move around.

The Health Board's head of infectious diseases Hanna Sepp explained that if people were to begin gathering at playgrounds due to warm weathers, it could become an issue again, however.

"If we can follow the 2+2 rule at playgrounds, they do not pose a threat. One of the factors last year why these playgrounds were closed was that we lacked the knowledge of how this virus spreads from surfaces. If playgrounds' surfaces were dangerous. Today, we are more bold and less fearful of surfaces, especially outside," Sepp said.

Tartu deputy mayor Mihkel Lees confirmed that both the Police and Border Guard Board and city government's monitoring department will monitor compliance with the 2+2 rule.

"We must also maintain peoples' mental health. Outdoor sporting areas and children's playgrounds are certainly an important option where people can go outside and breathe, can go outside, can move. In that context, keeping sports fields and playgrounds open is a reasonable decision," Lees emphasized.

Maive Mõttus, a physiotherapist, added that training outdoors affects mental health better than visiting a gym. Sports grounds are also fit for strength training.

"If we think about activity recommendations, then 150-300 minutes of medium or high intensity aerobic activities and an additional recommendation of strength training two or three times a week. It suits practically everyone," Mõttus said.

She also recommended parents take their child on their shoulders while on a walk or to try getting a workout in while your children are playing outdoors.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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