PLAYGROUNDS and parks will swing back into action on Friday when COVID-19 restrictions are rolled back across the state.
More than 100 council parks across the Tamworth region will be open again for the community to enjoy from Friday morning.
Tamworth Regional Council sport and recreation manager Paul Kelly said staff have been working hard checking the parks and playgrounds and getting them up to scratch for an influx of kids.
"That's very exciting for the community, a lot of people have been cooped up at home and I'm sure they're all keen to get out and about and enjoy our wonderful playgrounds," he said.
Mr Kelly said moving forward, council will establish additional measures to ensure the safety of park users.
"While we've been closed, we've continued to adhere to our industry regulations and guidelines in terms of regular monitoring and inspections of that equipment just in case it has been used or vandalised," he said.
Council plans on spot-cleaning various hand-holds on park equipment, but Mr Kelly said the individual must be responsible.
"We're also trying to really encourage the community to practice good social distancing and good hygiene practices, to ensure that we don't add to the spread of this virus," he said.
Staff will monitor the parks and will work with compliance officers to find a solution if people don't do the right thing.
However, some local favourites like the Marsupial Park remain closed, as do barbecue areas, so the Leader has put together the information you need to know before heading out.
Parks in residential areas across the region
More than 100 parks in the Tamworth region will be open from Friday, including playgrounds and parks across the Tamworth region and in the CBD.
Mr Kelly said parks in more outlying areas usually get inspected weekly rather than daily, so users should adhere to good personal hygiene and social distancing.
Tamworth Regional Playground
The playground in Bicentennial Park will be open to the public from Friday morning.
A daily cleaning schedule and regular checks, including the sanitising of some hand-holds will be implemented at this park due to its huge popularity among local families.
There is also a brand new piece of equipment opening at the park on Monday - a five-way swing.
The splash pad and the outdoor public gym nearby will also be open for use.
Tamworth's skate park
The skate park in Viaduct Park will be open for use again from early on Friday morning when the fencing is pulled down.
Council is encouraging users to adhere to social distancing, and use "common sense" when attending parks.
Mr Kelly said that means going back later or trying somewhere else if a park looks too busy to maintain a good social distance.
The Tamworth Marsupial Park and Adventure Playground will not open on Friday.
The council-owned park is subject to licensing rules from the state government relating to the wildlife living at the park.
"We don't technically call it a zoo but fortunately we do have the company of animals and we do have to manage those under a separate license from the [NSW government] and we have to adhere to the restrictions in relation to that license," Mr Kelly said.
The park is expected to open under the second stage of easing COVID-19 restrictions, though there is no indication of when that might be.
Tamworth Sports Dome
The restrictions being lifted under Stage 1 on Friday do not allow the Tamworth Sports Dome to reopen its doors.
Mr Kelly said the facility falls under the category of 'indoor sports venue', but council is working with local groups so they're ready when the dome gets the go-ahead.
"The sports community in Tamworth have always been really proactive and we'll continue to work through solutions and modify competitions to make sure they all get a fair go moving forward," he said.
Parks and playgrounds are open for use but Tamworth council has decided to keep the barbecue areas fenced off to the public.
Mr Kelly said the decision was made on the basis that these spaces promote gathering.
"Barbecue areas within those areas are remaining closed and the reason for that is the barbecues are a gathering point and are going to encourage group gatherings, and we want to minimise that," he said.