Leicestershire County Council has announced that its country parks will close immediately, as efforts continue to keep residents safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
The council is responding to national and local reports of people continuing to gather in public places. It had intended to keep its parks open as spaces to exercise, but fears are growing that too many people are visiting.
Earlier this week, the council announced a number of closures to its indoor facilities, including a number of libraries and museums, as well as sites such as Beaumanor Hall.
Events, activities, adult learning classes and clubs due to take place in all libraries have also been cancelled.
Nick Rushton, county council leader, has called again for residents to follow advice and stay safe.
“Our focus is keeping critical services running, particularly those supporting vulnerable people.
It’s with regret that we’ve taken the tough decision to close our parks. I had wanted to support the health and wellbeing of our residents during these unprecedented times. But people’s safety is my priority. Put simply, if there are too many people in the parks, it’s impossible to keep to the government’s social distancing advice.
As Chairman of the Bradgate Park and Trust, I have also been in contact with the City Mayor and we have agreed to close Bradgate Park because of the same reasons.”
Nick Rushton, County Council Leader