Lockdown Update: The Royal Parks remain open for visitors to boost physical and mental wellbeing

Lockdown Update: The Royal Parks remain open for visitors to boost physical and mental wellbeing

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The Royal Parks will remain open for visitors who are encouraged to come and spend time in nature, relax or exercise, whilst still ensuring they follow government advice about social distancing.

The parks provide visitors with crucial access to vital green spaces and present a wealth of opportunities for visitors to help boost their physical and mental wellbeing in these uncertain times.

The Royal Parks charity is closely monitoring Government advice on COVID-19 and is following the advice of Public Health England. In order to prevent the spread of the virus through social contact in a busy space, the charity is taking all appropriate measures to keep visitors safe and healthy during this time.

The following measures have been put in place:

  • All playgrounds will be closed to public access from Wednesday 18th March until further notice, in order to help people with social distancing.
  • All sports bookings (including school bookings) at The Hub in The Regent’s Park will be cancelled with immediate effect until 19th April, when the situation will be reviewed. No additional bookings will be taken until further notice.
  • Cafés and some catering kiosks remain open but people are being asked to follow Government advice with regard to social distancing when collecting food and drinks.
  • All of The Royal Parks’ learning and education programmes, community programmes and volunteer activities have been cancelled with immediate effect until the end of April, when we will review the situation.
  • All small events being held in a Royal Park between 18th March and 30th April will be cancelled.
  • Park toilets will remain free of charge until further notice, in order to provide visitors with hand washing facilities.
  • All park offices are now closed to the public until further notice.

Tom Jarvis, Director of Parks, said: “The Royal Parks have always been there for locals and visitors, providing the green lungs of the city and hosting incredible wildlife and heritage. And, now more than ever, these vital assets offer a tranquil haven for visitors to come to boost their physical and mental wellbeing.

“In these difficult times, we’re welcoming people to London’s eight historic Royal Parks to relax, exercise and engage in nature. Staying fit and well is particularly important, and we ask visitors to follow the Government’s advice and carry out social distancing to prevent the disease spreading, by protecting themselves and others.

“Our charity is closely following and monitoring Government and Public Health England’s guidance and we’re responding with daily updates as the situation unfolds.”

Please check The Royal Parks’ website for daily updates www.royalparks.org.uk/coronavirus as well as our Twitter feed @theroyalparks .

UPDATE: 24/03/20 Tom Jarvis said: “Following the Prime Minister’s latest address, we are pleased that our parks can remain open for essential daily exercise, be that a run, walk or cycle. People are permitted to exercise once a day, either alone or with members of their immediate household, but all other gatherings in the parks of more than two people are banned and will be dispersed by the police. Social distancing, as set out by the Government, is absolutely crucial so people must stay at least two metres apart at all times. By following these rules, we can keep London’s parks open for everyone who needs them.

“We believe strongly that having access to green space has never been more important than it is today for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for those without a garden. It is up to all of us collectively to adhere to the latest guidance, otherwise we will have to consider closing the parks. We will keep the situation under constant review.”

Image: © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

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