Coronavirus: Gosport car parks closed by council after locals refuse to follow government social distancing guidelines

CAR parks in beauty spots across Gosport have been closed by the council, after residents ‘failed to comply’ with government guidance.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 7:03 pm

As part of the government’s measures against coronavirus, people were advised to only head out once a day for exercise, and to stay at least two metres away from other people.

But Gosport Borough Council leader, Cllr Mark Hook, says these guidelines are being ignored, and has taken the decision to close a number of car parks throughout the town.

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Stokes Bay Road, Gosport. Picture: Michael Scaddan

He said: ‘We are still getting far too many people travelling to do exercise, when you can just do it at home.

‘It’s very problematic, more than 100 went down there yesterday; the police are already stopping motorists to ask if their journeys are essential.

‘The message is very simple – exercise from your front door and leave your cars behind.’

The car parks that have been closed are Alver Valley East, Alver Valley West, Flower Buildings, Marine Parade, Alverbank West, Alverbank East, Beach Road, Elmore, No. 2 Battery, Pebble Beach and GAFIRS.

Cllr Hook says the general public must take in the advice at all costs.

He said: ‘People are parking along the grass verges to get around it – we’re not going to stand for that, we will take action.

‘People who are considered vulnerable just aren’t getting the message at the moment, they’re not able to head out and go for a walk along the beach.

‘Everyone needs to keep safe and stay at home; it’s the only way we’re going to beat this virus.’

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS