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City council urges people to continue behaving responsibly and ensure social distancing in parks and open spaces

News release from 09/04/2020

VISITORS to Cambridge City Council’s historic commons, recreation grounds and parks are being reminded to follow national advice on social distancing as we head towards the Easter bank holiday weekend.

The council recognises that its open spaces are important places for residents to get fresh air, exercise and contact with nature and is urging people to abide by the government advice that is designed to slow the spread of coronavirus, to help protect the NHS and save lives.

That government advice is to stay at home (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus):

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home);
  • If you go out, stay two metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Anyone going out to exercise for health reasons in one of Cambridge’s open spaces should:

  • Enjoy exercising on their own or with members of their household only;
  • Keep dogs on leads at all times to ensure you can safely keep two metres away from others;
  • Use open spaces near to home so they do not have to travel to those further afield. Most car parks at open spaces are now closed;
  • Consider going at less busy times like early in the morning or in the evening;
  • Distance themselves at least two metres from others at all times;
  • Avoid an area if it looks very busy and go elsewhere.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, said: “We know how much people value our parks and open spaces as places to get fresh air, exercise and to simply enjoy being outside.

“This has never been more important than now because we find ourselves in the most challenging of times during which we need to look after our physical and mental wellbeing.

“Our open spaces are particularly important for people who have no garden or outside space of their own. We really do want to keep our open spaces available but we need everyone to do their bit when it comes to social distancing.

“The advice from government is very clear and we must all follow it to make sure we can keep our open spaces available for all. I encourage everyone to be responsible and stay at least two metres apart while they are enjoying the fresh air and exercise.”

While the council’s parks and open spaces remain open, the associated outdoor play and multi-use games areas, bowling greens, BMX tracks, skate parks, tennis courts and outdoor fitness equipment are closed. These closures were introduced in response to the government’s restrictions.