People reminded to follow the rules at Sandwell parks

Residents are reminded not to meet in large groups at Sandwell Valley Country Park, other parks and open spaces across the borough's six towns to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Visitors to Sandwell's parks and open spaces are also urged to observe social distancing guidelines to protect themselves and others, and help save lives.

The plea comes ahead of the next step in the easing of Government restrictions from Monday (29 March) when groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet again outdoors.

From today, under Government’s guidelines you will be able to meet outdoors either in a group of six (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible).

You will also be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people, with outdoor sports venues and facilities able to reopen. 

Sandwell Council will be working alongside West Midlands Police to carry out patrols at Sandwell Valley, Dartmouth Park and other open spaces. People who aren't following the Government rules face being fined by the police. People can be given a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. Alan Caddick, Sandwell Council’s director of housing and communities, said:

"During the pandemic, parks and green spaces have been an increasingly popular destination for people to visit. We have seen an even greater number of visitors attending Sandwell Valley and Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich, particularly at weekends.

"The number of people visiting the sites and people not adhering to the rules in respect to social distancing is concerning. With lockdown restrictions easing, school holidays approaching and hopefully some good spring weather coming up, we know people will want to exercise and spend time in our parks and enjoy some fresh air.

"We would just ask everyone: please, stick to the latest government rules, keep social distancing and don't meet in large groups to help prevent the spread of infection. And if it looks really busy, please consider coming back another time or choosing another of our many green spaces."


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