Councils back plans to keep parks open

The Local Government Association has backed the Government’s aim to keep public parks and community green spaces open wherever possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister, Robert Jenrick, has issued new guidance for councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.

It follows concern that as warmer weather is forecast and the UK heads towards the long Easter weekend, more people will be tempted to ignore advice and flood into parks and green spaces.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “This is a national emergency and the minority of people who do not adhere to the guidance need to change their behaviour to keep us all safe. Councils are constantly monitoring the situation regarding our parks.

“Councils know that parks are a lifeline for residents needing to get some exercise or fresh air and are great for physical and mental wellbeing.

“This is why councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow the social distancing advice, otherwise councils will be reluctantly forced to close them as a last resort to help prevent the coronavirus spreading.”

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