Hammersmith & Fulham parks and playgrounds are to remain closed for the time being while measures to enforce the government’s advice on social distancing and help keep residents safe are put in place.
Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council, said: “We understand why it’s difficult for all of us to come to terms with the surreal nature of a pandemic. But last Saturday our parks were packed with thousands of people failing to observe government guidelines on social distancing - risking passing the contagion on to people they came into contact with, and inadvertently contributing to the death toll.
"We are one of the most densely populated boroughs in the country. It was simply untenable for us to allow a situation to continue which was helping to significantly spread the virus, unnecessarily cause illness and deaths, and contribute to the extraordinary problems the NHS is dealing with. We therefore took the decision to close parks and playgrounds.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to move towards a nationwide lockdown to enforce social distancing, which we hope will bring a change of behaviour in order to protect lives. We are putting in place a highly-visible public information campaign, backed by officers to enforce the new rules, to highlight the urgent need for attitudes to change.
“All parks and council playgrounds are to remain closed for the time being. We will review the situation as events develop and examine the possibility of reopening our parks. But we will always put the safety of our residents first. Please stay home and save lives.”
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