A YORK park had to close today on the advice of the city’s Covid marshalls – sparking a fierce debate over the merits of the decision.
Homestead Park, in Clifton, posted on its Facebook page: “On the advice of the Covid Marshalls from the City of York Council, we have had to close the Homestead Park until further notice.
“We will review this with our partners during the week and will update you soon.”
The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust tweeted: “Alert – following advice from the city’s public protection unit, Homestead Park is currently closed due to safety concerns over the lack of social distancing in key spots.”
Scores of people have commented on Facebook, some condemning the decision and others praising it.
Posts by supporters of the decision included:
“Just to say thanks for all your great work at Homestead Park ! The importance of well managed local Greenspace has become so apparent during the three lockdowns to the people of York. It must be a difficult task balancing public safety whilst managing a Covid-19 secure site.”
“Thank you for putting peoples health first – it can’t have been an easy decision for you to make.”
“Not surprised. We were there this morning. 3 different families, separate cars, met up hugging and kissing each other on the cheek like it was the good old days of 2019. The ignorance of the few affects the many.”
Posts by those highly critical of the move included:
“This is really disappointing, it’s my partner’s 11 year old boy’s birthday today. We were about to head out to Homestead Park because it’s the only thing we can do with the kids in lockdown and now we’ve got an upset 11 year old.”
“So if people were gathering and not distancing etc, is closing the park going to stop that? Won’t they just engage in the same behaviour in another location? In the meantime innocent kids and families lose out.”
“So now those who want to break the rules will just go and gather in the fields by the river instead. Meanwhile those of us who are obeying the rules will lost even more of our freedom!”
Another concluded: “Shame a few people spoil it for many. I love the Homestead but personally I haven’t let my children go to any park in lockdown- so many people touching the same surfaces.”