Playgrounds and outdoor gyms to remain closed to curb spread of coronavirus

Emily Cleary
·3 min read
Activity equipment in the children's playground area of a park in London is closed off, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Playgrounds will remain closed during lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, new guidelines confirm.

In a recorded address on Sunday evening, Boris Johnson said Britons would be allowed outside to exercise as many times a day as they liked, and could travel to parks and beauty spots by car to do so, from Wednesday.

However, there are still social distancing restrictions in place and a report published by the government today confirmed what people can and cannot do outdoors.

The report reads: "People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. For example, this would include angling and tennis.

Tape covers outdoor gym equipment to prevent people using it, in Abbey Park in Leicester, central England, on April 25, 2020, during the national lockdown due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Boris Johnson's government on Saturday was embroiled in a political row after it emerged his chief advisor attended meetings of the main scientific group advising ministers on the coronavirus pandemic in Britain. Downing Street was forced to deny that Dominic Cummings and another advisor, Ben Warner, were members of the politically independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People caught using equipment in outdoor gyms could face fines. (Paul Ellis/ AFP)

"You will still not be able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.

"You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household."

The report appears to suggest that taking a walk, playing golf, or going fishing with one person who does not live with you is allowed, but groups of more than two should not meet.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain closed, and team games are still banned and punishable by a series of fines.

The measures are part of a gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions as the government attempt to kickstart the economy.

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Anyone caught flouting the lockdown measures could face a fine of £100, doubling with repeat offences up to a maximum of £3,200.

The Home Office has said the first fine could be halved to £50 if it is paid within 14 days.

Traffic is seen on the M25 motorway during the morning rush hour near Heathrow Airport in west of London on May 11, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 10 announced a phased plan to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, with schools and shops to begin opening from June 1 -- as long as infection rates stay low. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Traffic on the M25 during the morning rush hour on Monday after Boris Johnson announced a phased plan to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (Adrian Dennis/AFP)

In his speech, Johnson warned that while the lockdown was being eased he would not hesitate to reintroduce the stricter measures the country has been under for the past seven weeks if the virus again flared up.

He confirmed that people could meet with one other person outside their household – such as a friend of family – if they stay two metres apart at all times.

Roads saw an increase in weekly traffic today as amended coronavirus lockdown rules meant some workers could return to their jobs.

But there has been criticism from opposition parties that the new guidelines are not clear.

More updates and clarifications on rules are expected in the coming days.

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