Covid-19 – Guidance for Parks and Green Space Managers

Updated 7th July 2020

We are continually updating this page in line with latest government guidance and advice from other relevant bodies. We are working closely with land managers, the GLA and London Councils to provide consistent messaging for the use of parks/green spaces and provision of services there-in, during the pandemic.  Please note that for the purposes of all our guidance households may include an individual (who lives alone) who has chosen to form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.

We recommend the following guidance be conveyed to park users:

  • Stay alert, to stop the spread of coronavirus you must still follow government guidelines
  • Do not enter a park if you have any symptoms – fever, coughs, shortness of breath or are self-isolating (you may wish to provide park users with links to NHS information– given below)
  • Always keep at safe distance from anyone outside your household:
    • Use all areas of the park (that are open) and spread out
    • If the park is crowded, do not enter if you cannot stay at a safe distance from others
  • You can now do the following, but must follow social distancing guidelines:
    • Spend time outdoors
    • Exercise as often as you wish
    • Play team sports with up to six other people, from different households
    • Use outdoor sports facilities, only if open, such as tennis courts, following any hygiene advice given
    • Meet up to six people from your different households

As lockdown restrictions are easing landowners and managers will be considering re-opening some facilities and also how to resume volunteer activities safely.  To assist you with these issues we have produced guidance, in line with government guidelines, which you can download below:

Re-opening cafes & ice cream van concession in parks (updated 3rd June 2020)

PfL Coronavirus Guidelines for Volunteering in Parks updated 25th June 2020

Covid-19 – guidance for re-opening public toilets – updated 3rd June 2020

EXAMPLE Risk Assessment: Visitor use of Parks and Cemeteries Public Toilets during Covid-19 [produced by LB Bexley May 2020]

Under current Covid-19 government regulations outdoor gyms and playgrounds can re-open from 4th July 2020, swimming pools must remain closed until further notice. On 26th June 20 the government published new guidance: Covid-19- Government Guidance for Managing Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms. We have updated our guidance for owners and managers of these facilities on how they may re-open them safely, based in these guidelines and information from Councils.

Covid-19 – Guidance for outdoor gyms-play areas – updated 6th July 2020

Example of Risk Assessment:

Rugby Borough Council – Covid-19 RA – Play areas- outdoor gyms (doc 1 of 2)

Rugby Borough Council – Review Process for consideration against government guidance (doc 2 of 2)

The play inspection company has issued advice, in case an annual inspection cannot take place before opening play areas on 4th July (if you are planning to do so):

We will be updating this page regularly, so do please keep checking it. See below for useful links, we have just added a link to Public Health England’s latest report about understanding the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities, which may be useful for land managers assessing risks to staff and messaging to the wider community; and to Keep Britain Tidy’s free campaign resources to help local authorities with messaging about litter.

New government guidance: Staying alert and safe (social distancing), will come into place from 4th July 2020, it states that people from different households should continue to socially distance but does not specify the distance. However, in the Prime Ministers statement to the House given on 23rd June 20, he said people should ‘where it is possible to keep 2 metres apart’. Where it is not, people are advised ‘to keep a social distance of 1 metre plus’. This means people should remain ‘1 metre apart, while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission’. Mitigations may be: provision of hand sanitiser, wearing a protective face covering etc. If mitigations cannot be provided, to reduce the risk of transmission we advise in our guidance, that people (not from the same household) stay 2metres apart.

As of 25th June 20, the latest guidance from the government to help land managers re-open outdoor sports facilities was produced 1st June 20:  Guidance for providers of outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport and recreation in England. We will let you know when there is more information/guidance.

The government has published a new document: Safer Public Places – Urban Centres and Green Spaces. This guidance provides land manager’s with information and examples of measures that may be undertaken to adapt and manage greenspaces in order to help social distancing and may be of interest.

Other useful links for further advice/resources:

PHE report – Covid-19 understanding the impact on BAME communities

KBT FREE Litter Campaign Resources

CFP Report – Managing Public Parks During Covid-19

Skateboard England – Guidelines for Skateboarders

Skateboard England – Guidelines Signage

Guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July

Government Guidance – closing certain businesses and venues

Government Guidance on Accessing Green Space Safely

Government Guidance – Coronavirus

Advice provided by the Mayor of London

Coronavirus – NHS Advice and Information

Public Health England – Coronavirus guidance

Advice and guidance for attending allotments

Ensure that appropriate signage is clearly visible at allotment sites covering:

  • Do not visit your allotment if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating
  • You are still advised not the visit your allotment if you are in a high-risk group
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other plot holders
  • You can visit your allotment with members of your household
  • You can visit your allotment with people outside your household (though not in groups of more than six people) but MUST maintain social distancing. It is still advisable to limit contact with those outside your household.
  • Visits to allotments are not time restricted
  • Keep hand sanitiser with you, use before and after touching any gates/locks or similar
  • Wash your hands with hand sanitiser regularly – ideally take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels with you
  • Do not wash your hands in the water tanks
  • Avoid touching your mouth and face
  • Do not share tools or other items with fellow plot holder
  • Wash your hands when you get home

You may wish to direct plot holders to detailed information given by the NHS about coronavirus symptoms (see above) and those in high risk groups and detailed advice given by the National Allotment Society