Playgrounds, tennis courts and outdoor gyms in Brent have been closed off in response to the coronavirus outbreak – but parks remain open for now.

Brent Council confirmed that these sections in the borough’s parks and open spaces would be shut to the public for the time being.

It comes as the UK tries to stem the spread of covid-19 through social distancing, which encourages people to stay away from each other as much as possible.

Parks and green spaces in Brent will remain open overall but users will no longer have access to gym equipment in closed off areas, games areas – such as tennis courts – and children’s play areas.

In neighbouring Harrow, the local authority said it will continue to follow government advice – including that on parks – and will update residents accordingly.

Over the weekend there were criticisms of members of the public congregating in parks or freely moving around in large groups despite the Government’s warnings.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, responsible for public health, culture and leisure at Brent Council, tweeted: “Shocked to see people still out in groups in parks, having house parties, buying cans and drinking them in the street together.

“People are simply not listening to advice and carrying on as normal. A stricter approach is now needed and has been for days.

“There needs to be a complete ban on non-essential travel and group activities with police enforcement now.

“The ‘telling people nicely’ approach is not working as flouting these has no consequences. Make everyone stay at home.”

Hammersmith and Fulham Council closed its parks last night (March 22), while the Royal Parks, responsible for Hyde, Regent’s and St James’ Parks, closed kiosks and cafes.