Benches taped off at Yeovil park as people told not to socialise

The benches have been taped off to stop people congregating.
The benches have been taped off to stop people congregating. Credit: BPM Media/Somerset Live

Benches at a popular Yeovil beauty spot have been taped off, as walkers are warned they face questioning by police if they sit while exercising during the Government-enforced lockdown.

Several large benches have been covered with red and white tape at Yeovil Country Park (Ninesprings), owned by South Somerset District Council, as the local authority encourages people "not to travel by transport to our sites".

Smaller benches at the park have not been taped off.

Government advice states that "sitting on a park bench for a short pause during exercise is reasonable" - but leaving home to sit in public has been deemed unlawful under coronavirus restrictions.

A sign on the taped-off benches at Yeovil Country Park reads: "Socialising outside when not exercising, even with your own household, is not permitted under the current national lockdown restrictions. Please continue with your walk."

A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said: "Our café at Yeovil Country Park is still operating a takeaway service however we have taped the benches in this area to reduce the amount of people congregating outside.

"We noticed during the first couple of days of lockdown that this area was being highly used and the actions we have taken will help with social distancing and assist with reducing the spread of coronavirus."

Home secretary Priti Patel has previously stated police will question people who are sat on park benches.

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