Coronavirus: Warning as play areas and outdoor gym still being used at Star Lane Park, Canning Town

A call has been made to shut off an outdoor gym, play areas and basketball court in Star Lane Park,

A call has been made to shut off an outdoor gym, play areas and basketball court in Star Lane Park, Canning Town. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The public have put themselves and others at risk by using play areas and an outdoor gym left unfenced off by the council.

People are still using this outdoor gym at Star Lane Park in spite of the government calling for suc

People are still using this outdoor gym at Star Lane Park in spite of the government calling for such places to close. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

That’s the message from John Collins of Avondale Court, Canning Town, who has seen parents pushing children on swings and groups of youngsters up to 18 strong playing basketball in Star Lane Park.

This is in spite of the government ordering such places to close on March 23.

John said: “I’ve seen doctors and nurses pleading with people [to follow social distancing measures]. This virus is a killer and people still need to learn that. It’s scary what’s going on here.”

However, Newham Council has denied Star Lane Park’s facilities remain open.

There are fears that the coronavirus could spread if someone who is infected touches equipment left

There are fears that the coronavirus could spread if someone who is infected touches equipment left open to park users. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A spokeswoman said: “Star Lane Park is officially open as are other parks in Newham. However, facilities such as the play area are closed and residents should be avoiding these areas at this time.

“Any residents walking in our other parks, should follow the guidance issued by the council and the government.”

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Playgrounds and outdoor gyms should all be closed under the latest government plans to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

All gatherings of more than two people in public, apart from people living together, have also been banned.

On March 24 and 25, John telephoned Newham to let them know people were still gathering and using Star Lane’s facilities, but one call handler said he needed to call the police. However, the Met only has powers to disperse groups of people. He emailed Newham mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, today (March 26).

“I’ve seen parents pushing children on swings. If one person [with the virus] touched that swing, more people are going to catch it,” John said.

He urged Newham to fence off the play areas, outdoor gym and football pen to deter people from gathering and potentially spreading the virus.

By contrast, the City of London’s West Ham Park fenced off its playground and outdoor gym following prime minister Boris Johnson’s press conference on March 23.

Mr Johnson instructed the country that shops selling non-essential items, outdoor gyms and playgrounds were to be closed “immediately”.

“If you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them through fines and dispersing gatherings,” the PM said.

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