Parks - follow rules or risk fines and closure

Residents are being urged to stay at home as much as possible this weekend and, if they do use parks, follow safety rules and social distancing.

Published: Thursday, 9th April 2020

Enforcement in parks during the Covid19 outbreak

Hounslow's parks and green spaces will remain open as usual for the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend. However, there will be patrols by police officers and the Council’s Enforcement teams to ensure people are behaving responsibly and no putting others at risk. Anyone breaching the rules could be fined, and the Council may be forced to close parks if irresponsible behaviours put people at risk.

Government direction is that no one should leave their house except to shop for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, any medical need, or travelling to work if you cannot work from home. And, should people leave their home, they need to keep 2m apart from others not in their household.

Parks can be used once a day, and only for a walk or exercise.

  • Stay local. Don’t drive out - car parks will be closed.
  • Stay 2m apart from people not in your household.
  • Keep dogs on a lead at all time.
  • Playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms are all closed – don’t try to use them.
  • Don’t met up with friends – you could catch it off each other then spread to members of your family.
  • Don’t gather in groups – you will be dispersed.
  • Keep moving – don’t sunbathe, have a picnic or barbecue or play games. The reason for this is we need a steady flow of people in and out. The more people who take up space for longer, the harder it is to keep 2m apart, and the fewer people can use the park. It’s about being fair and considerate of others.
  • If the park looks really busy, give it a miss.


Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services said: "We are very fortunate in the borough in having so many lovely parks and open spaces which are much loved. We want to keep them open so people can enjoy them for a walk or exercise during these challenging times. This is important for mental and physical health, especially for people who don’t have a garden.

"This means one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of their household. And even when doing this, we should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring we are two metres apart from anyone else. Dog owners are asked to keep their dogs on a lead whilst in parks and open spaces. Please remember not to touch your face and to wash your hands for more than 20 seconds when you arrive at home.

“Enforcement teams and police have been regularly patrolling for the past couple of weeks. To date, the teams were happy to see that most people across the borough were behaving responsibly. However, there were several instances where some people ignored notices and behaved extremely irresponsibly, undermining the efforts made by so many to stop the spread of the virus, save lives and protect the NHS. Our playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sports courts are closed for good reason – to protect our most vulnerable residents and stop the spread of coronavirus.”

As a result of coronavirus pandemic, the public car parks within parks have closed until further notice as there were problems with people not complying with government advice.  If people are inconsiderate and ignore these rules and put others at risk, Hounslow, like some other London boroughs, will need to take action and may be forced to close their parks as well.

For residents who use allotments, they can still visit them at this time, provided social distancing is observed by remaining on their own allotment plot only.

The following rules apply regarding allotment usage:

  • Observe strict hygiene rules with locks, gates, taps, handles on communal sheds and water tanks. Wash hands regularly and always wear gloves
  • Do not share tools
  • Do not wash hands in water tanks
  • Adhere to the social distancing signage on display
  • Do not gather with other plot holders
  • Gather only with those within your own household

To find parks near where you live, use our parks finder







 

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