Coronavirus: Council leader threatens to close Islington parks

People queueing for ice creams in Highbury Fields.

People queueing for ice creams in Highbury Fields. - Credit: Archant

Islington’s council leader says parks in the borough will be closed if people do not act responsibly and keep a safe distance from each other.

Highbury Fields. Picture:Ken Mears

Highbury Fields. Picture:Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Cllr Richard Watts has issued a stern warning in the wake of reports from the weekend of people congregating in Highbury Fields and other green spaces despite the social distancing guidance.

He said: “We are now at a critical stage of trying to limit the spread of coronavirus – people have got to sit up and listen, and do what we are asking. There are no exceptions.

“Exercise benefits everyone’s physical and mental health and our parks are a lifeline for so many people in Islington who don’t have the luxury of their own outside space.

“But we will close them if people don’t act responsibly – it’s that simple. The virus does not spread itself, so we all need to do our bit to save lives.

“That means you do not go out except for vital trips like buying food, taking exercise or attending medical appointments. Don’t travel to work or use public transport unless you do a critical job. And if you are out, keep your distance – stay at least two metres away from the next person.

“Remember: stay at home to save lives. It’s as simple as that.”

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Pictures posted online showed people queueing for ice creams in Highbury Fields.

As of 9am on Sunday 281 people had died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

Anyone affected by coronavirus in Islington who needs support from the council can visit its coronavirus page here.

For the latest coronavirus news from Islington and across London visit our coronavirus page here and join our Facebook group here.