London’s Royal Parks will remain open to the public but visitors must heed the government’s warning and abide by the rules of social distancing or face the consequences of total closure.
The eight Royal Parks in London – the largest being Richmond – will continue to operate and will keep their gates open for visitors, who are encouraged to visit them to relax and exercise.
However, guests must still ensure that they follow the strict government advice regarding social distancing, amid the rising outbreak of COVID-19, although many people are already bracing themselves for a total lock-down.
A statement from Royal Parks said: “The Royal Parks remain open and are vitally important at this time.
“However, social distancing, as set out by the government, is absolutely crucial.”
The nature reserve’s official charity will implement some small changes and has already taken the decision to close all of its take-away cafes and kiosks venues with immediate effect – due to people failing to listen to the correct social distancing guidelines.
The charity has also made the decision to start closing roads to traffic in outer parks such as the Richmond, Bushy, and Greenwich areas.
However, some of the roads will remain open in the inner-city parks of Hyde, Regent’s, St James’s, but all designated car parks are now only going to be accessible for key workers equipped with a permit.
The team went on to say: “We will keep this situation under constant review and if people do not follow social distancing guidelines, we will have no choice but to consider closing the parks.”
Boris Johnson said that despite the health benefits of keeping some parks open, if people continue to fail to abide by the two-metre rule, then ‘further measures’ would have to be looked at.
All small events, photography and filming at a Royal Park has also been cancelled for the foreseeable future but organisers will be entitled to a full refund of the fee or will be able to defer the shoot until next year.