A group of about ten were holding a barbecue in Chestnuts Park, St Ann’s ward, before being dispersed by the police this Tuesday. Those present flouted government coronavirus regulations which forbid public gatherings of more than three people.
A local named Mel saw the group while on a walk with the dog in the park. She described them on the forum, Haringey Online, as: “A group of approximately ten men, enjoying an outdoor barbecue, clearing in flagrant disregard of the new rules on staying at home and away from others to halt the spread of Covid-19. When I asked if they were aware of the new rules, I was told to fuck off.”
A resident living nearby reported the gathering to the police. The group were said to have fled as the police arrived.
Those found in groups of more than three congregating in public spaces will be fined £30 each by police.
Many other such gatherings have been spotted around the area, including a group who started a bonfire in Chestnuts Park on Monday night.
Concerns have also been raised that in our multicultural community there are those who will have reduced access to official statements made only in English.
Another forum member said: “The community as a whole needs support to be able to inform all members of this diverse community what the appropriate procedures are in these times. Is it enough that a sign is hung on the gates in English only? What solutions are there to communicate the use of the park for all? Are things happening with the stakeholders for all groups and if so how do I get hold of them to try and get material to help?”
The council are aware such breaches of public safety precautions are taking place and released a statement saying: “We know that large groups of people are still congregating in our parks and open spaces and not adhering to the Government rules around social distancing by staying 2m apart. This is irresponsible and unacceptable behaviour that is risking the lives of vulnerable people, as well as those with underlying health conditions, in Haringey. It’s very important that we all play our part in the national response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ensure our National Health Service (NHS) isn’t overburdened at this critical time.”