New Guidance on the Safe Use & Management of Outdoor Public Places

20 July 2021

New guidance has been issued to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places while the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains.

Helen Ball FSLCC, Town Clerk to Shrewsbury Town Council and SLCC Director, has been integral to the shaping of the new guidance, working with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and members of the Safer Public Spaces Team with representatives from National Association of Local Councils (NALC), county associations, Parks Action Group, Association of Play Industries (API), Association of Registered Play Industries, Keep Britain Tidy, Play England, Local Government Association (LGA), Children’s Play Policy Forum, Play Safety Forum and the Green Flag Award Scheme.

The ‘COVID-19: Safer Public Places – Managing Public Outdoor Settingsguidance, published by MHCLG, reflects that many restrictions have been lifted at Step 4 and includes key principles local authorities, owners and operators should continue to consider for the following spaces:

  • Urban Centres
  • Green Spaces
  • Outdoor Playgrounds
  • Outdoor Gyms
  • Tourist hotspots, including beaches, the countryside and coastal areas

As this new guidance consolidates the principles for various public outdoor settings, as of 19 July the following pieces of Covid-19 guidance have been withdrawn:

  • COVID-19: Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms 
  • COVID-19: Guidance for managing beaches, the countryside and coastal areas
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer public places – urban centres and green spaces
  • Guidance to support local authority compliance and enforcement activity, including COVID-19 Secure Marshals


Applicable in England onlyCoronavirus (COVID-19)Government Announcements/Legislation