Coronavirus: Camden warns it may have to close parks as playgrounds are locked up
Signs to go up with distancing advice
22 March, 2020 — By Richard Osley
Waterlow Park in Highgate is run by Camden Council
CAMDEN Council is considering closing its parks due to the numbers of people not observing social distancing rules amid the escalating spread of coronavirus in London.
Town Hall leader Labour councillor Georgia Gould said this evening (Sunday): “Camden will be closing park play areas, tennis courts and similar facilities that can be locked tomorrow but keeping open green spaces. If you have green space at home please use that. For those who don’t, walk locally & keep 2 meters apart so we can keep green spaces open.”
She added: “We know fresh air and green space can be a lifeline. We want to keep our green spaces open for safe use, with people staying two metres apart, unless living together. This weekend we saw gatherings, big groups, picnics, and contact sports. If this continues we can’t keep parks open.”
After a bright day which drew people out of their homes, the New Journal earlier reported on warnings from the City of London about the need for visitors to Hampstead Heath to maintain their distance from others and the Royal Parks, which said it would have to consider closing sites like Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill if social distancing rules were not properly met.
Cllr Gould said: “We are developing signage to give people clear advice in all our green spaces. We know this is a difficult time and we are here to answer questions and hear ideas.”
Camden’s parks and open spaces include Russell Square, Talacre Gardens, Waterlow Park – the ‘garden for the gardenless’ – in Highgate and Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn.
Earlier today (Sunday), Sadiq Khan called on Londoners not to be casual about social distancing,
“Life has changed, we’ve got to do things differently for a while now,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “Social interaction leads to the disease spreading, leads to people dying. Don’t leave your home unless you really, really have to.”