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Coronavirus: Largest jump in UK deaths, confirmed cases exceed 8,000 as some Crawley parents decide to take children to playground

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Credit: Peter Heath

If it was the shock factor parents needed then it could be coming if advice by the government and health officials are not followed.

After children were seen using the skatepark in Southgate this morning, 24th March, now several playgrounds have been seen occupied by numerous parents with their children, clearly not abiding by the social distancing rules as they engaged with other people.

In Cherry lane playground over a dozen parents and their children were seen enjoying the playground.

Crawley Council has confirmed that all play areas are closed and that new signage will be installed in the next day.

A spokesperson for Crawley Council said:

“We continue to urge people to follow the Government’s advice – stay at home. Only leave for food, health reasons or work (where this cannot be done from home) Stay 2m from other people Wash hands as soon as you get home.”

The government again made it clear that anyone found not obeying the rules will be fined a starting fee of £30 but going up to an unlimited amount for persistent offenders.

In todays Downing Street briefing, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock again reiterated that it was not a request for people to stay indoors, it was a rule.

Coronavirus

Warning to Crawley residents not to ‘flout the law’ as good weather predicted for Easter Hols

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Nationally there are fears that with the weather set to heat up this weekend and ‘lockdown fatigue’ increasing that more people may be encouraged to ignore official guidance. 

This is also the concern of Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne who has today chaired a meeting with local MPs with Chief Constable Giles York to discuss the local policing response to this pandemic.

With Sussex’s many beaches and areas of natural beauty there are concerns that these places may become busier and the police are braced to deter day-trippers and local residents from beauty spots. 

Mrs Bourne has warned people not to flout the law saying: “I know that the restrictions currently in place are a far cry from everybody’s normality and that temporary sacrifices are having to be made but we all have a responsibility to protect our communities. 

“There is a real concern that, as this is the first weekend of the Easter Holidays with the weather set to improve, people will be getting in their cars and heading for beauty spots and beaches. 

“I’m urging residents and those who may have plans to travel this weekend to stay at home. Do not make our county any more vulnerable to this virus and please do not put any unnecessary strain on our emergency workers.

“The message from the Chief and me has always been that the new policing powers will only be used as a last resort. They will instead try to engage with and educate people.

“This approach has worked so far, with only a small handful of fixed penalty notices issued and local MPs today have universally praised the way officers have handled this crisis so far. 

“We do not want to go down the enforcement route but where people are found ignoring police advice and putting others in danger, officers will have to use the new legislation in place to protect us.

“I’m proud of how the majority of residents in Sussex have adapted to this crisis and I want to see us all continuing to stay at home. It is making a difference.”

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