1. The process for managing soft play frame areas will be a written document and form part of the business COVID-secure opening protocols. Employees will be trained in this process; records of such training will be kept and available to inspectors.
2. Before anyone is permitted to enter the soft play frame they will need to apply hand sanitiser at the point of entry to the play area. Each parent will be given their own bottle of gel upon arrival (not just at the entrance to the building), supervised and the application of sanitiser made mandatory.
3. Operators should have a zero-tolerance policy, with a written policy for dealing with non-compliance. Staff should be trained in the handling of non-compliant persons.
4. Where customers are required to queue, clear social distancing floor markings to stop clumping are required. These should be in the form of boxes, hatching and floor graphics, so that visitors clearly understand what they are required to do.
5. The capacity of the soft play frame must be calculated to allow for the current guidance on social distancing - this will allow households to socially distance. On the basis of normal play frame capacity calculations which is based on active floor area, capacity/occupancy will be reduced to maximum 40%, this will be based on the total number of users including parents or guardian supervising. Operators will be required to demonstrate calculation methods and justification for their capacity numbers. This will need to be monitored when in use as part of the ongoing risk assessment process, to ensure that capacities deliver social distance requirements. Evidence would need to be available for an inspecting officer.
6. The play frame will be subject to its own capacity, this will be calculated, as above to allow for social distancing in the frame area. Capacity management and social distancing will be controlled using management processes and each centre will adopt the process that is suitable for their setting, such as:
● Separate entrance and exit points, which will be staffed, to monitor/regulate numbers to no more than the maximum persons allowed to enter the play structure at any one time. Staff should use tally counters to help monitor this.
● Control via groups i.e. coloured wrist bands, all-in all-out systems.
● Signage displayed at the entrance to the frame;
● Encouraging parents to accompany children through the frame;
● The natural one-way flow already built into structures (i.e. hard to climb slides);
● Total centre capacity will not exceed the total number of persons allowed within the soft play frame.
7. The capacity for smaller play areas will be calculated as above. Where there isn't sufficient space to facilitate social distancing only one household per area will be permitted at any one time.
8. To aid social distancing and avoid pinch points the following examples may be used:
● Direction arrows or minor alterations to establish a flow system. For example log ramps to be up only and deck climbs and slides to be down only. Floor pads are typically 1.2m square so additional signage can be erected to remind customers to remain two square floor pads apart from others while playing in the structure unless they are from one family group or bubble.
● Risk assessments of pinch points within the frame. Control measures such as temporary closure of confined spaces or areas that encourage users to congregate may be necessary.
● Staggered start times for people entering the play frame.