Are parks open in lockdown?

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Addressing the nation on Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced England was to enter its third lockdown in less than a year. Cases of coronavirus have soared in recent days, with the UK recording 58,784 new cases of the disease on Monday – the highest daily total since the pandemic started.

Now Britons are being told to stay home, work from home where they can and to only leave home for essential reasons.

In a bleak statement not the usual Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said the new variant of coronavirus was spreading in a “frustrating and alarming” manner.

The PM warned the number of Covid-19 patients in English hospitals is 40 percent higher than the first peak.

The new strain of Covid-19 is up to 70 percent more transmissible and has now spread to several countries across the globe after first being discovered in the south of England.

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Mr Johnson said: “As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

“The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet but I really do believe that we’re entering the last phase of the struggle, because with every jab that goes into our arms we’re tilting the odds against Covid and in favour of the British people.”

Britons have been told to abide by the lockdown rules straight away, with MPs meeting to discuss the restrictions on Wednesday.

MPs are being recalled early from their Christmas break to vote on the lockdown.

Are parks open in lockdown?

Under the new lockdown rules, Britons are told to remain home and only leave for essential reasons.

These include things like going to work, to buy essential groceries, to care for someone and to exercise.

In terms of exercise, you can visit your local park as these will be staying open.

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Playgrounds are also permitted to stay open, however, you must not travel outside your local area to visit.

If visiting a park or playground you must adhere to social distancing. 

You are also only allowed to exercise just once per day outside – however, there is no limit on doing so in your own garden.

You can meet one other person outside of your household to exercise with outside as long as you adhere to social distancing.

Gyms and leisure centres will stay closed, and outdoor team sports are not allowed.

The extremely clinically vulnerable who were previously told to shield will be advised stay at home and only leave for medical appointments and exercise.

These rules will be in place until at least the middle of February, with senior Government minister Michael Gove today saying March looks like a likely time to ease restrictions.

The Prime Minister’s statement came after the chief medical officers for the first time raised the UK to the highest level on the Covid-19 alert system.

They warned the NHS was at risk of being overwhelmed within 21 days “in several areas” without further action.

Essential businesses are allowed to open their doors, and these include

  • Supermarkets, food shops, pharmacies and garden centres
  • Places of worship
  • Petrol stations and MOT services
  • Laundrettes
  • Banks and post offices
  • Doctors and dentists’ surgeries and vets
  • Car parks, public toilets and playgrounds

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