Victoria Park will reopen on Saturday 11 April from 8am.
It will operate with reduced opening hours of 8am to 4pm on the east side of the park, and 8.30am to 4pm on the west side.
On Wednesday 25 March, the council together with the police made a joint decision to close the park when visitors failed to observe social distancing guidance. We have developed a number of control measures to find a way to reopen the park to help support the mental health and wellbeing of residents during this time.
As the park is open again, and the weather improves, we hope you will enjoy it responsibly - which means observing government guidance on accessing green space, social distancing, and following the new control measures put in place to protect public health, especially those who are most vulnerable.
These are different times and we need to use our parks differently. Failure to follow guidance or new control measures could result in fines or closure of the park
Don’t ignore very clear instructions to only go out once a day for exercise, such as a walk or run, alone or with others from your household. Stay local and don’t meet others, have picnics, sunbathe or play sports games. Stay two metres apart from other visitors. Keep dogs on a lead and on the grass, where possible. Keep moving to get home and then stay at home to save lives.
New powers to fine offenders
New regulation introduced on 26 March 2020 by the government gives police in England powers to instruct people to return home and issue fixed penalty notices starting from £60 (£30 if paid within 14 days) which will double to £120 for second time offenders, and double again with each further repeat offence.
Individuals who refuse to pay a fine could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines. Police will apply common sense and discretion in the first instance but could arrest people where it is deemed proportionate and necessary.
New control measures introduced to Victoria Park
In addition to regular patrols by our parks team, Tower Hamlets enforcement officers (THEOs) and the police, there have been several new control measures introduced which are clearly signposted in the park and outlined as follows:
- Reduced opening hours from 8am to 4pm, daily*
- Only exercise outdoors once a day - such as a run, jog or walk, alone or with other people from your household
- Static exercises such as yoga, pilates, general fitness training and exercises that can be done at home are not permitted
- Cycling is not allowed in the park at this time
- Leisure cycling is allowed for children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by an adult - the adult must be walking or running alongside, and not on a bicycle themselves
- Exercise = keep moving → get home, stay at home
- No gatherings, sunbathing or picnics.
- Group and individual sports or games including ball games and activities such as frisbee and kite flying are not allowed at this time (including those activities that involve being two metres away from others)
- Stay two metres away from other visitors at all times
- Use of playgrounds, toilets, gym equipment and benches is prohibited
- Give way to people exiting the park
- Keep left on pathways and avoid narrow ones
- Keep dogs on a lead and on the grass, where possible
- Treat staff, police and others with respect
- Anyone who enters Victoria Park when it is locked does so at their own risk
*8am to 4.30pm for Victoria Park west and subject to staffing levels.
For further information visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/victoriapark
Posted on Wednesday 8th April 2020