RAWALPINDI: After remaining closed for 72 days, Punjab government on Friday opened parks across the province including Rawalpindi but made it compulsory for the people to wear face masks and gloves while entering the parks.

The provincial government closed down the parks and recreational sites across the province in March end due to spread of coronavirus.

In Rawalpindi, Parks and Horticulture Authority did not conduct spring festival on March 26.

Asif Mehmood, adviser to Punjab Chief Minister on Tourism and Horticulture, told Dawn that basically parks had been opened for people and the permission was granted by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar after formulation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He said that under new SOPs, the visitors had to wear the face masks and gloves. He said that social distancing would be maintained in the parks.

He said the gate keepers of the parks would check the temperature of the visitors and special counters had been established for hand washing.

He said people suffering from fever and cough would not be allowed to enter the parks. “The people had been asked not to bring children to the parks. Basically, it is opened for the morning and evening walks,” he said.

He said permission to open parks was conditional and the visitors to the parks should adopt the safety measures under the SOPs formulated by the health department, otherwise they will be barred from entering the park.

On the other hand, Asif Mehmood, adviser to Punjab Chief Minister on Tourism and Horticulture, will inaugurate Iqbal wall in Iqbal Park (previously Nawaz Sharif Park) in Shamsabad.

The wall is constructed to pay tribute to the services of Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2020