Covid-19 – Guidance for Parks and Green Space Managers

Updated 19th May 2020

We have updated our parks guidance in line with government guidance on access green space, coming into force from 13th May 2020. We are working closely with land managers, the GLA and London Councils to provide consistent messaging for the use of parks and green spaces during the pandemic. We will continue to reinforce messaging through our website and social media.

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 least 2 metres apart 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 visit a park to:
    • Spend time outdoors
    • Exercise as often as you wish
    • Meet one other person (not in your household) at 2 metres apart
    • Use outdoor sports facilities, only if open, such as tennis courts
  • Team sports are not allowed unless with members of the same household
  • Do not gather in groups of more than two people (unless from the same household)
  • Do not use closed facilities – these will include outdoor gyms, play areas, public toilets* and MUGA’s* – these are closed to stop the spread of coronavirus
  • Park benches are not sanitised, if you use them avoid touch surfaces
  • Gatherings of more than two people in parks or other public spaces are still banned and this will be enforced by the police
  • You are advised to keep your dog on a lead, to ensure you can keep 2 metres away from others
  • Take litter and dog mess home with you
  • Follow hygiene advice when you are outside, avoid touching surfaces (such as benches) and wash your hands as soon as you are back home (you may wish to provide park users links Public Health England Advice on hygiene – below)

As cafés and ice cream van concessions can now open (where this can be done safely) to offer a takeaway service, we have produced additional advice, which you can download below:

Reopening cafes & ice cream van concession in parks – May 2020

*Currently most London Boroughs will be keeping public toilets and MUGAs closed, but as numbers visiting parks and the duration of stay is likely to increase, along with pressure to re-open basketball courts and other issues this may change. Some are keeping car parks closed at weekends to enforce social distancing measures this may also change. We will be updating this page regularly and are also planning for the lifting of further restrictions in the future to support you. Please see below for useful links, we have added links to Skateboard England, who have produced guidance and signage for skateboarders.

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.

Useful links for further advice:

Skateboard England – Guidelines for Skateboarders

Skateboard England – Guidelines Signage

Advice provided by the Mayor of London

Government Guidance – closing certain businesses and venues (updated 13th May 2020)

Government Guidance – Coronavirus

Coronavirus – NHS Advice and Information

Public Health England – Coronavirus guidance

Advice and guidance about 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 still are 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 now visit your allotment with members of 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