Rowntree Park has reopened – with Covid marshals deployed to ensure social distancing.
City of York Council closed the park on Sunday, “due to concerns over large groups meeting and people not social distancing”.
It followed the police being called on Saturday after people were going onto the frozen pond.
The decision was met with dismay by many. One resident commented: “This is madness. Rowntree Park is a lifeline for many young families living in the city centre.
“By closing the park, you make the river banks more crowded. Please don’t punish everyone for the sake of a few idiots.”
Another said: “Back in March there were regularly police cars parked up at the entrances of the park and officers walking around Millennium Bridge, sounds like it would be better to do that than close the park entirely.”
Now the council have acted to reopen the park – with precautions.
Safe for all
A council spokesperson said: “We know how important our local parks and open spaces are, particularly during lockdown.
“Today we have reopened Rowntree Park following its closure over the weekend.
“The police and council attended on Saturday to reports of a number of people who were going onto the dangerous frozen pond. To keep everyone safe, the difficult decision to close the park was made.
“Council officers who attended raised concerns over the perceived lack of social distancing by some park users.
“To ensure the park is safe for all users, Covid marshals will be more visible in the park from today, and we’ll be adding signage to remind people of the importance of social distancing.”