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Coronavirus: Sporting Facilities to Reopen in London’s Royal Parks as Lockdown Measures Ease

Royal Parks is starting to reopen sports facilities and food kiosks for Londoners, and welcomes sunbathers and picnics, but warns it’s not ‘business as usual’

Lead image: © Royal Parks

With the government’s lockdown measures being eased, meaning that we can now head to the park, not just to exercise, but to hang out, The Royal Parks are keen to welcome visitors, but warns that its far from ‘business as usual’.

London’s parks and green spaces are incredibly important for our wellbeing, especially since many of us having small or no gardens at all, so it’s great to hear that we can finally pause for a moment and take the time to enjoy our local parks.

Several sporting facilities have or are due to re-open, with the tennis courts now open in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, while the Serpentine Swimming Club will re-open in Hyde Park from Monday 18 May, and Richmond Park’s golf course is due to reopen this weekend (16 May). The tennis courts in Greenwich Park are ‘opening soon’.

Safety measures are being put in place to open catering facilities, too, with kiosks re-opening this weekend in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Parks for takeaway only.

But some services, including toilets, remain closed, so visitors are being warned not to rely on public toilets and to plan ahead.

‘We welcome visitors to enjoy the parks for relaxation and exercise,’ said Tom Jarvis, Director of Parks at The Royal Parks. ‘But please remember: we’re still in the middle of a crisis and must work together to show kindness to others and to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

‘Please remember: we’re still in the middle of a crisis and must work together to show kindness to others and to adhere to social distancing guidelines’

‘If areas become crowded, people may be asked to move on. We urge everyone to respect that and to be kind in their response to staff who are working hard to keep the parks open. And please look after your parks – take your litter home with you so that the parks remain a tranquil oasis for everyone to enjoy.’

Government guidance around social distancing must also be followed:

  • You can meet with one person from outside your household, as long as you stay 2 metres apart
  • You can exercise in the parks as often as you wish
  • You can spend time sitting in the sunshine – sit on a bench, sunbathe, have a picnic – but again, you can only meet one person from outside your household and you must stay 2 metres apart

Specifically regarding the Royal Parks, the latest guidance is as follows:

  • Toilets in all Royal Parks remain temporarily closed until further notice.
  • Pets should be kept under control; dogs should be kept on a lead.
  • Several outdoor catering kiosks will re-open this weekend in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Parks for takeaway only.
  • Several sporting facilities will re-open. In Hyde Park and The Regent’s Park the tennis courts have re-opened and in Hyde Park the Serpentine Swimming Club will re-open from Monday 18 May. In Richmond Park, the golf course will reopen this weekend (16 May).
  • Playgrounds and outdoor adult exercise areas such as the outdoor gym in Hyde Park and the Trim Trail in The Regent’s Park remain closed. The Hub in The Regent’s Park remains closed.
  • Car parks will not re-open this weekend. Please follow the Government’s guidance on transport by walking or cycling to the parks and, wherever possible, stick to your local green space.
  • Cycling in Richmond remains temporarily suspended but will be returning as soon as possible.
  • BBQs are not allowed. Fires are a hazard and will put an additional strain on the emergency services and could harm wildlife.

For the very latest updates, see royalparks.org.uk before travel



 

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