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Residents urged to keep to social distancing in parks and open spaces

News release from 04/06/2020

PEOPLE visiting Cambridge City Council’s historic commons, recreation grounds and parks are being encouraged to adhere to national guidance on social distancing.

The appeal follows the government’s move to relax some of the measures put in place during lockdown.

New rules provide for people to spend more time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, said: “Cambridge is home to many beautiful open spaces and we want people to enjoy them safely.

“Understandably, people will be keen to make the most of relaxed rules to exercise, meet family and friends or to simply enjoy being in the park.

“However, I would strongly urge people to follow the new rules closely. The government has set a maximum number of people who can meet and the social distancing, two metre rule remains very important indeed.

“We all need to take care to be considerate to others and do our bit to reduce the likelihood of the virus picking up again and that is why we are pushing the #StaySafeCambridge message.

“The last thing anyone wants is another spike in the incidence of coronavirus infections. Staying at least two metres apart, meeting no more than the maximum number of people and continuing frequent hand washing will help us to avoid that.”

Anyone going out to enjoy one of Cambridge’s parks and open spaces should:

  • Enjoy exercising on their own, with members of their household only or in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines of keeping two metres apart;
  • Keep dogs on leads at all times to ensure you can safely keep two metres away from others;
  • Put litter in the bins provided or take it home;
  • Consider going at less busy times like early in the morning or in the evening or somewhere else if it looks like it would not be possible to safely social distance from others
  • Take hygiene precautions when outside, wash hands as soon as they are back indoors and take hand sanitiser in case there are no handwashing facilities.

With people also likely to have friends and family to visit them in their own gardens, the advice is that they should not share crockery or pass each other food or drink.

Cllr Thornburrow added: “I would ask people having get-togethers in their garden to consider their neighbours. Social distancing needs to be followed and we must remember there are still very vulnerable people who are shielding or following tighter restrictions than the majority of us.”

In summary:

  • Open: Parks and open spaces, tennis and basketball courts;
  • Closed: Other outdoor play and multi-use games areas, bowling greens, BMX tracks, skate parks and outdoor fitness equipment. These closures were introduced in response to the government’s restrictions.

The latest NHS advice on coronavirus is here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ with government advice here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus