COVID-19: Using Parks Responsibly
Now more than ever parks are providing an invaluable source for improving people's health and wellbeing, and we are doing all we can to ensure that parks remain open throughout these challenging times and that they are being used responsibly.
As the Government starts to relax measure introduced to stop the spread of the virus, updates will be posted here on actions we are taking in our parks to re-open facilities when it is safe to do so.
How you can help:
- Continue to remain at least two metres away from others while in the park
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times, otherwise you could face a fine of up to £100
- Re-opening of playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sport courts when it is safe to do so
- If you see any large gatherings in parks, report this to the Police on 101
While using the parks, you must follow social distancing guidelines including remaining at least 2 metres away from others at all times. Please respect others whilst using the parks.
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.
For the past few months all sports courts, outdoor gyms and playgrounds have been closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. In June, the Government amended it's guidelines and has now allowed for the opening of these facilities, when it is safe for the managing authority to do so.
All sports courts in parks, including ball courts, tennis courts and multi-use games areas, are now open.
Ducketts Common, Lordship Recreation Ground and Finsbury Park are currently open for supervised sessions only.
Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms
Over the coming weeks we will be ensuring that before we re-open playgrounds and outdoor gyms, it is safe to do so. This means that we can't open them straight away as we need to carry out risk assessments, clean them to ensure your safety, and take down any temporary fencing etc. We aim to start a phased opening of playgrounds and outdoor gyms in the next couple of weeks, and to have all facilities open by the end of July.
We are only able to re-open these facilities with your help.
- Please 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
- 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
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.
Please continue to stay home as much as possible. Together we will work to ensure everyone's safety, and save lives.
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Use Parks Responsibly
Please be responsible for your own, and others' safety when using our parks:
- Don’t go out if you feel unwell
- Keep your dog on a lead
- Stay 2m from other people
- Ballcourts are now open – please follow guidance when using them
- Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will all reopen by the end of July
- Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands when you get home