Should parks remain open during COVID-19?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
April 30, 2020, 9:59 AM UTC

Brits support the closure of public spaces like parks, but want to keep their daily exercise

Police forces up and down the country have had to warn sunbathers and picnickers in local parks during the COVID-19 lockdown, with some councils even threatening to close them if people continue to violate the rules.

But half (54%) of Brits actually support the closure of public spaces like parks and playgrounds to stem the spread of the virus, with 33% strongly in favour. Another 33% of Brits are opposed to the closure of all non-essential public places.

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Londoners are split over the idea: while 45% are supportive, 44% are opposed. A quarter (25%) of Londoners are strongly opposed, the highest level seen in the country, possibly due to the fact 22% of residents don’t have access to a garden.

However, Brits do not want to give up their state-approved daily exercise. Overall, 74% of Britons say they have taken up some form of exercise during the lockdown, with the most popular form being a walk. Over half (55%) of Brits are now walking for exercise.

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Another 20% are doing their own home workout, while 12% are keeping fit with the help of Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator’s home exercise routines. One in six (14%) have taken up running and jogging, and 10% of Brits have turned to cycling.  

Younger Brits are most likely to be keeping fit: two in five (41%) are doing home workouts, nearly the same number (39%) are running and jogging, and 21% are cycling.

With this big uptick in exercise, it is of little surprise that most Britons are opposed to lockdown rules being extended to prevent outdoor exercise.

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Overall 66% of Brits are opposed to restrictions on exercising outside, compared to just 16% who would support such a measure.

 

See full results here