Brockwell Park reopens as minister warns sites must only close if distancing 'impossible' to maintain

Parks should not be closed unless it is "impossible" to maintain social distancing in them, the Government has urged councils.

Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Monday that he had called local leaders to warn them to be "very judicious" in locking open spaces.

Lambeth Council temporarily closed Brockwell Park in south-east London after saying 3,000 people, many sunbathing or in large groups, had visited on Saturday.

The park reopened on Monday and councillor Sonia Winifred said she hoped the temporary closure ensured that the message was crystal clear to people who ignored social distancing measures.

There has been some public confusion over whether it is acceptable to sit down and enjoy the sunshine when once-daily exercise is condoned under the official guidelines.

The Government confirmed sunbathing is banned but said it is up to police to use discretion in enforcing the rules.