Crowds in Bicester parks risk spread of Covid-19

Garth Park Skate Park Closed
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Bicester Town Council is asking people to stop congregating in local parks following concerns about the risk of the spread of coronavirus in the community.

Reports have been made to the council that some parks have become overcrowded at times during the day, particularly Garth Park.

It has also been pointed out that young people have been using the skate park despite it being closed in-line with Government guidelines.

Residents are being reminded to adhere to social distancing rules and not to congregate in parks.

Signs have been put up at each of the open parks across Bicester advising of the maximum number of people at any one time to ensure safety.

Residents are being urged to check how many people are already in a park before they enter.

Council leader Cllr Richard Mould said: “Bicester Town Council is very concerned that the number of residents using Garth Park over the last weekend was breaching Government advice to stay safe and stay at home. 

“The Council asks all residents who use the park to respect this message so that the Prime Minister’s Road Map out of lockdown can proceed along the time scales he set out. 

“With large numbers congregating in Garth Park there is a greater chance that the COVID-19 virus will take hold and slow down the release from lockdown. 

“Please make sure that you respect the social distancing rules by keeping two metres apart at all times and that the play area is used only by the stipulated number of children.

“Your cooperation will be appreciated by all.”

Last month the Government set out its roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, which will be based on four tests:

  • the continued deployment of the vaccine programme, 
  • evidence that the vaccine is effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths 
  • reduced infection rate  
  • no risks related to new variants.

The easing of lockdown began on March 8 when children returned to school.  From April 12, non-essential retail, indoor leisure facilities can open and hospitality venues can serve people outdoors. 

Then from May 17 indoor hospitality, entertainment venues, the accommodation sector, indoor seated venues can start to open. The government hopes from June 21 legal limits on social contact can be removed.

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