CORONAVIRUS: Boston Council agrees to reopen Central Park and town's cemetery after minister's comments

Boston Council has today decided to re-open Central Park following comments by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick at the weekend.
Central Park has been closed, but that decision has now been reversedCentral Park has been closed, but that decision has now been reversed
Central Park has been closed, but that decision has now been reversed

The council issued a statement this afternoon saying that it has, with the agreement of council leader Paul Skinner and the local policing team, taken the decision to re-open the park.

It has also agreed to re-open the town’s cemetery immediately.

During the Government’s daily live briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Jenrick said both parks and cemeteries across the country should be open.

Boston Council closed Central Park after consultation with Lincolnshire Police on 24 March. Although other parks in the district remained open, it was thought that people were breaching social distancing rules and gathering in groups in Central Park.

The cemetery was closed completely except for funerals, with only immediate family groups being allowed to come to those.

The council reversed both those decisions today, but said: “The park is open for exercising only, please do not socialise in this area. You must not use the MUGA, play or outdoor gym equipment in the park.

“Social distancing must be respected at all times when visiting these areas.”

On Saturday, Mr Jenrick said it ‘cannot be right’ that parks had been closed around the country, saying ‘people need parks’.

“While the virus does not discriminate, we know that the lockdown is much harder for people who don’t have a lot of living space, who don’t have a garden, and who don’t have anywhere for their children to run around.

“That’s why I have made it clear to councils that all parks must remain open.”

Mr Jenrik also said: “I’m also asking councils to keep open or indeed reopen cemeteries and graveyards.

“Not for people to congregate in. That must not happen. But for people to make that private visit.”