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Some council facilities to stay shut across Newry and Mourne while ABC issue update on parks

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has outlined what the new COVID-19 regulations mean for its services and facilities

Lurgan Park Play Park

Some facilities across Newry, Mourne and Down District are to remain closed while the council seeks clarification on the new restrictions.

These measures, introduced from 6pm on Friday night, are in place initially for four weeks.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has outlined what the new COVID-19 regulations mean for the district.

Following the Executive’s announcement of “significant” new measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the council has been considering the impact on its services.

While many will continue to operate as normal, details have been given where new restrictions will apply.

The following measures have now been introduced to the following service areas from 6pm and will be in place for four weeks.

Please note that clarity is still being sought in some service areas which may be subject to change.

Newry, Kilkeel and Down Leisure Centres
These facilities will remain OPEN, however restricted to the following activities:
Gyms for individual training only.
Swimming pools, however only for individual lane swimming bookings and only for 16 years and older.

All memberships will be extended or discounted to allow for this period of reduction in services and we will communicate these arrangements in due course.
All activity sessions must be pre-booked on the NMD Be Active App, online or by phone.

St Colman’s Sports Complex
Only the athletics track will remain open on a restricted basis for individual lane bookings at restricted times.

Initially the following facilities and services will REMAIN CLOSED from 6pm on Friday 16 October 2020:
Ballymote Sport and Wellbeing Centre and the Newcastle Centre.
All council grass and artificial surfaces including St Colman’s 3G pitch.
All council tennis courts, bowling greens and pavilions.
All classes, sports halls and multi-purpose rooms in all leisure and sports facilities.
All recreational swimming and swimming tuition.

The council is seeking further clarifications on a number of the new restrictions.

At present the above will be in place but will be reviewed in light of any further changes to the regulations.

The council may make changes as it receives further clarification on the restrictions and allow a timescale for implementation and says it appreciates the public’s “anticipated understanding of the present fluid situation”.

REGISTRATION (from 19 October)
Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies at a registration office or approved venue will be limited to 25 people.
Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place at a person’s home if one of the parties is terminally ill with up to 10 people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).
For the latest information see:

Burial services will be limited to 25 people.

Museums will close during this period. Arts Centres remain closed.


Community Centres across the district currently remain open but will continue to operate on a restrictive basis. The focus will primarily be on the provision of childcare and library services and where possible the Council will work with existing hirers to facilitate necessary community activity that has been robustly considered and risk assessed.


Council operated Caravan parks will remain open, however all amenity buildings / common facilities will be closed.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Laura Devlin said: “Thank-you again to all those who came together to help reduce COVID-19 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down over recent weeks.

“While localised restrictions were avoided, the ‘circuit breaker’ announced this week by the Executive is now required to reduce the spread of coronavirus and help manage the pressures on our health and social care system.

“This is an opportunity to reset and drive down cases to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Please do your part to comply and continue to socially distance, wear a face covering where required, wash your hands and download the StopCOVID NI app.

“I know this means a very difficult time for many of you, especially those who live alone and are socially isolated. I also do not underestimate the impact this will have on local businesses and know the district will come together again to support you as best we can, with the council playing its part.

“We have now outlined the council services impacted by the new regulations at this stage and will continue to keep our social media channels and website updated with any further details.”

Meanwhile, ABC Council play parks and play areas remain open following the NI Executives announcement on October 14, however, it is essential now, more than ever, that everyone follows Public Health Agency guidelines at all times when using these facilities.

Alongside government protocols and public health guidelines, here are some safety guidelines to help you mitigate any risks to yourself, your family and the wider community:

– Play equipment is checked regularly for damage and wear and tear, but is not sanitised or disinfected. This is shared equipment, used at your own risk

– In order to assist with social distancing requirements only have one family member accompanying a child

– Do not use equipment if you or any member of your household has Covid-19 symptoms, or are self-isolating

– Make sure you have hand sanitiser with you before entering the play park. Encourage everyone in your family to wash their hands with hand sanitiser regularly and as a minimum before and after using the play park

– Encourage children to avoid touching their faces

– You MUST maintain social distancing from others unless they are from the same household

– Some equipment can only be used by one child at a time while social distancing. Please ensure your family waits at a safe distance if the equipment is in use or return later to use the equipment

– Wash your hands when you get home for 20 seconds using soap and water

We hope you enjoy using our play areas and thank you for helping to keep everyone safe by always following these simple instructions.

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