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Borough’s play areas closed as part of new COVID-19 measures

News release 9669, published on 24 Mar 2020
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has closed all public play areas and outdoor exercise equipment across the borough, following the government’s latest guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions yesterday (23 March) which states that people can only leave their houses for four reasons - to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where "absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items and for any medical or care needs.

Despite the closure of play areas and outdoor equipment, residents are still able to enjoy a daily walk or run at a safe distance from others to get essential exercise in the borough’s parks which remain open at present.

The borough council’s Safe Space campaign is encouraging people to exercise safely if cycling, running or walking in public by keeping at least two metres away from each other.

Residents are also being urged not to meet up with friends following the latest guidance around gatherings of more than two people, except for family members from the same house.

The council’s Community Safety Patrol Officers will be working closely with the police and taking appropriate action to break up any gatherings in public areas.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “Following the latest national advice, we have closed all of our public play parks until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“While we are keeping our parks open for everybody to get some fresh air and essential exercise, we are urging our residents to do this safely by maintaining a two metre distance between themselves and other people. You should not be meeting family members or friends who do not live in your home and if they ask you to meet, the message is clear – say no.

“It is very important that we all follow the government advice on self-isolating to protect ourselves and others and ultimately, prevent the spread of this disease and we will be using the powers available to us to enforce this.”

For more information about the council’s response to COVID-19, please visit 


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