Public spaces crowded

Image above: Strand on the Green, Monday 23 March

The picture above shows how young people particularly have been ignoring the advice on social distancing. At the weekend the river bank was full of people out for a walk on the first sunny day of spring, and the same was still true on Monday (23 March) when this picture was taken. 

Although the Prime Minister says parks will remain open, in London a number of parks are being closed because there are just too many people using them and not staying the requisite two metres away from the next person.

Parks closed

The Royal Parks have made the decision to close Richmond Park to traffic, though it remains open to cyclists. They have also closed the cafes in Royal parks ‘as people are not adhering to social distancing guidelines’.

LB Ealing has announced it is closing its play areas, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, tennis courts, skate parks and other facilities.

LB Hammersmith & Fulham announced on Sunday that all parks in the borough would close until further notice, including Ravenscourt Park.

Gunnersbury Park and Chiswick House Gardens open

Gunnersbury Park remains open seven days a week ‘for the community to exercise, walk the dog and enjoy the spring flowers’, but the museum is closed and all public programmes have been suspended.

At Chiswick House the Gardens remain open but the House, the cafe and the playground are all closed. The toilets outside the cafe are also closed. They ask that you stay two metres away from people who are not in your party.


Kew Gardens closed

Kew Gardens is also closed until further notice.  Director Richard Deverell issued this statement: 

‘There is no salve quite like nature for an anxious mind.

‘We wanted to keep our botanic gardens open for as long as possible, to offer our visitors a space of tranquillity and beauty at this stressful time.

‘However, our absolute priority is the health of our visitors and staff. 

‘Given the increasingly reduced number of places for people to go, we were concerned that high numbers of visitors would not allow for safe social distancing at entry points and we wanted to avoid any unnecessary travel’.

The Gardens have been closed since Sunday.