An Inverness councillor is pleading with parents to refrain from allowing children to use play parks in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Current government guidelines say equipment should not be used but Ken Gowans says several sites in private developments across his Inverness South ward do not have signage making that clear.
While councillor Gowans said he does not wish to take play parks away from children, he feels measures must be put in place to help prevent any youngsters from catching coronavirus.
“Residents have highlighted that despite government advice some private development play parks remain open,” he said.
“I have walked by a few throughout the ward and have seen first-hand some parents with children playing.
“They are not in large groups and where I have seen, they have been respecting social distancing, but my fear is the touching of surfaces could help spread the virus.
“This is all about protecting kids.
“The Highland Council has put signs up on its own operated parks but there seems to be nothing on the private development parks.”
Parks in question located in private developments have been highlighted in the Milton of Leys, Greenfields and Balvonie areas of the city.
Mr Gowans believes the issue is likely to be repeated in communities across the north and has raised the question with the council’s administration to inquire if there is some way members can protect communities by placing notices on play parks.
He added: “It is not that we want children to be stuck inside and not able to get out and enjoy the fresh air and play.
“It is simply about protecting everybody involved and trying to curb the spread of this nasty virus.
“Our priority is, and always must be, to best protect the people living in our communities.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said the local authority does not have the right to enforce the closure of play areas on private land.
She added: “We can only suggest they comply with government advice and act responsibly in reducing access to their sites by putting up closure signs and locking where they can.
“If members have concerns about inappropriate use then they can contact the police given their duties on enforcing social distancing.”