That’s the message from the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum (LRF), as people are urged to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, says, “I understand how difficult these containment measures have been for a lot of people but I would strongly urge people to continue to follow the official guidelines around social distancing.”
“The Government has asked local councils to keep their parks open so people can use them for exercise to maintain their health and wellbeing. With this in mind, those who wish to exercise will be pleased to know that Swindon’s parks will remain open, though residents will be unable to drive to them.
“I would also remind people that sunbathing, having picnics or barbeques or undertaking other similar activities is, to be frank, irresponsible behaviour. If this advice is ignored, as it has been in other areas of the country, we may need to consider closing Swindon’s parks, so please follow government guidance and act responsibly.”
Chair of Wiltshire and Swindon LRF, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, says that the vast majority of people across the county were adhering to the Government’s advice. He said: “I know the past few weeks have been incredibly challenging for people, as the financial, economic and social implications of these necessary restrictions hit home.”
“But it is important to reiterate how vital it is that we continue to follow the Government’s guidelines and stay at home. I know that after weeks of social isolation people may start to feel fatigued, and the temptation may be to pop out for a picnic, or arrange to meet a friend for a long walk. However, the best way that you can support our NHS and help keep both yourself and everyone else safe, is to stay home and avoid all unnecessary travel.”
He added, “I know many people’s normal springtime plans would include getting out into the countryside and visiting some of Wiltshire’s beautiful landmarks and beauty spots. But, remember, we will have ample opportunity to do that when all this is over – for now, we need to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
The current Government guidance is:
- Stay local - use open spaces near to your home where possible - do not travel unnecessarily
- Only go outside alone or with members of your own household
- Keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
- Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
So the message is clear. Enjoy your local green space if that’s Lydiard Park, Old Town Gardens, Coate Water Country Park, Stanton Country Park, The Lawns, Queen’s Park or GWR Park, but if you live further afield, look forward to visiting Swindon’s beauty spots when the lockdown is over.