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Crowded park

Change behaviour or lives will be put at risk

As you may have read by now, the council has put restrictions on facilities in our parks, from playgrounds to tennis courts, to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

As I say in the video above, I am asking people, pleading with people to stay at home. There really is no need to go outside unless you are a key worker and unless you need to go to the shops for vital food and supplies. I have been working from home for the last week, as have my cabinet colleagues and other councillors and officers.

Unless you are a key worker there really is no need to go outside and we need to make sure that we are doing this in order to save lives.

Ealing has already got one of the highest infection rates for COVID-19 and we need to make sure that we are not in the same position as Italy is now in a couple of weeks, where there are increases in deaths and increases of infections which will mean our NHS will not be able to cope. We need to protect our NHS so that it can look after the most vulnerable.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a beautiful, sunny day and everybody felt the natural inclination to go out to our parks and our green spaces. I would ask you to think and not do that unless you really, really need to. Yesterday, I saw people playing contact sports in our play areas and our outside gyms that can transfer the infection onto others very easily.

We need to change that so, as of today, we’ve made the decision as the council to close our play areas, to close our outside gyms, to close our tennis courts, our skate parks and make sure that people are also following the social distancing guidelines. It is really important that we all behave responsibly and so our park rangers and our Parkguard services will be looking to ensure that these closures of those areas in our parks are adhered to.

Now, we recognise that going to our parks and being in green space is vital to our physical and mental well-being. First of all I would ask you to use your own gardens if you have them and try to stay at home but, if you feel you need to go out, then follow the social distancing guidelines, act responsibly and don’t do anything that would cause this virus to spread.

Unless we act in this way now we will have to close all of the parks and stop all access to our parks and green spaces. We don’t want to do that but if things carry on as they are we may well have to. It is vital that we do this in order to save lives.

So please, please follow this advice and help us to save the lives of fellow people in Ealing who are really vulnerable and also to protect our NHS. Thank you very much.

Keep up-to-date with the latest advice on the council’s online coronavirus centre; and sign up to receive email updates by registering on the council’s MyAccount pages. 

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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