COVID-19: Using Parks Responsibly
January 2021 Update
The council is again having to respond quickly as new government guidance changes, to:
- encourage social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, and
- enable safe public access to parks.
While people are told to stay at home and only leave the house for exceptional reasons, parks are invaluable places for people to exercise to improve health and wellbeing. We are doing all we can to ensure that parks remain open throughout these challenging times and that they are being used responsibly. However, some facilities within parks are now closed.
Regular updates will be posted here on actions we are taking in parks to ensure your safety.
How you can help:
- Only use parks for exercise - this includes walking, running, cycling and dog walking
- Maintain adequate social distancing - remaining at least 2 metres away from others, or 1 metre whilst wearing a facemask, whilst in the park
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times, otherwise you could face a fine of up to £100
- Some facilites have been closed, while others remain open
- Using parks responsibly
- Closed facilities
- Open facilities
- Dog control
- Sports coaches and personal trainers
While using the parks, you must follow social distancing guidelines including remaining at least 2 metres away from others at all times, or at least 1 metre when wearing a face mask.
Please respect others' space whilst using the parks, especially during the colder, wetter months when paths are busier due to people not wanting to walk on the muddy ground. Think about wearing appropriate footwear to stray off paths to avoid congested areas.
All outdoor gyms, sports courts and pitches, and skateparks are now closed until further notice. This includes ball courts, tennis courts, sports pitches and multi-use games areas.
Parks should only be used for exercise. Therefore all picnic benches have been fenced off.
Finsbury Park car parking
We will continue to keep Finsbury Park closed to public vehicles to support social distancing measures and to facilitate the increased usage of the park. However, a limited number of blue-badge bays have been installed and are available for authorised use only.
Playgrounds in parks remain open. We are sanitising playgrounds at least twice a week, but you should still be vigilant when using them.
- Do not use if you feel ill or are self-isolating
- Sanitise your hands regularly whilst using the equipment and remember to wash your hands as soon as you are able to do so after use
- Stay at least 2 metres away from others, or 1 metre with a facemask
- Do not eat or drink within the facilities
- If the facility is busy, wait patiently until you can use it safely, or come back when less busy
Cafes in parks remain open, serving takeaway refreshments only. Please look out for details, including opening times, publicised at individual park cafes, and follow all the guidelines for safe usage.
Finsbury Park toilets
Many of the toilets in parks are managed by cafe leaseholders. These will open as the cafes do, and when it is safe to do so.
The toilets in Finsbury Park that are managed by the council are open. These are being cleaned regularly throughout the day and have toilet attendants managing them.
All dogs must be on a lead at all times. This is to ensure it doesn't run off and you have to retrieve it meaning you come within 2 metres of another person.
This decision has been made by working with our legal and enforcement colleagues to look at what legislation we have to support us in encouraging / compelling people to put their dogs on a lead during the coronavirus period.
The current Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) for Dog Control state that officers can require an owner to put their dog on a leash if it is reasonably necessary, in order to prevent the dog from causing a nuisance or disturbance.
Given the need for social distancing, the view has been taken that a roaming dog could cause both a nuisance and a disturbance to others in that its owner could be forced to get closer than two metres away from someone in order to restrain their dog. It is therefore reasonably necessary for officers to enforce a requirement that all dogs are to be kept on a leash.
We are in close contact throughout this period with our enforcement colleagues and the police. Where we know gatherings are taking place, against government guidelines, we will feed this information through to them, and decide what appropriate action is to be taken. If you know of any places within parks where regular gatherings are continuing to take place, please report this directly to the Police on 101 so they can take appropriate action, based on the intelligence they receive.
Personal training can continue to be provided as a one to one service or to the same household, or social bubble. Sports activities for those with disabilities can also continue. If you are providing any kind of organised fitness training within a park or open space you must inform the council in advance. This is to ensure that the activities being delivered on council land are permissible, safe and effective. Coaches and trainers are able to purchase our Outdoor Physical Activity Delivery Permit which enables providers to conduct commercial sessions in the parks.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Please continue to stay home as much as possible. Together we will work to ensure everyone's safety, and save lives.
Page last updated:
Tell us what you think about this page
Please use this space to tell us how we can improve this page, or the website in general.
If you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.
* = response required
Use Parks Responsibly
Please be responsible for your own, and others' safety when using our parks:
- Use parks for exercise only – walk, jog, cycle, dog walking
- Don’t go out if you feel unwell
- Always ensure adequate social distancing
- Outdoor gyms, skateparks and ballcourts are closed
- Playgrounds remain open – please follow guidance when using them
- Keep your dog on a lead
- Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands when you get home