After months of restrictions and lockdown on recreational activities, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s gradual opening of amusement parks has been welcomed by families and children. Many families have since flocked to these recreational outlets in parks and malls to let their children enjoy the available facilities after months of lockdown.
The recreational activities in amusement outlets and parks have been closed since March last year due to the State of Qatar’s precautionary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The children play areas at parks were re-opened on January 3, with a 50% capacity limit.
Speaking to The Peninsula, Mohammed Ali Al Khori, Director of Public Parks at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), said children could enjoy outings at the playgrounds in all the public parks.
To ensure visitors’ safety and prevent the spread of coronavirus, Al Khori said the facilities would be sanitised at intervals. He stressed the need for everyone to cooperate with the measures issued by the MoCI to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to ensure its continued opening as well.
Commenting on the reopening, Ghadi Mohamed, a parent who visited playgrounds at public parks regularly with his children before the lockdown, said: “To ensure the safety of children and their families, these places have been closed for a long time. They have recently returned to life after the Ministry’s announcement. The children are happy with this opening, especially since they have been indoors a lot for a long time,” said Ghadi.
“We hope for a full opening of these places, even the ones at malls, because they are likely to witness crowds in the few next days. These places are the only outlet for children to spend their time in with their friends,” he added.
Another parent Aisha said the opening of these places is important. She said parents find it challenging to convince their children that the public parks and recreational areas were closed.
A visit by The Peninsula to several Malls yesterday revealed preparations are ongoing as most of their play sections will start receiving visitors only from January 11.
An official said, “We expect a large turnout, in the next days, but we have a limited capacity. So far, only bowling and karting sections are open.”
Meanwhile, the MoCI continues to stress the importance of the recreational activity managers’ adherence to the precautionary and preventive measures defined by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
In a statement announcing the reopening, the Ministry stated that the resumption of entertainment activities would take place in three stages; the first stage begins as of January 3 and includes outdoor playgrounds, kids’ outdoor games, billiards, and bowling.
The second stage starts on January 11 and includes electronic games and trampolines, while the third stage begins on January 24 and includes bouncers, inflatable games, and ball pits.