Harrow has joined other areas in locking certain parts of its parks and open spaces in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Harrow Council announced that sports courts – such as tennis and basketball courts and outdoor gyms – as well as playgrounds will be shut off for the time being.

Parks will remain open overall to allow people to exercise or get fresh air, but the council reminded residents that they must follow government advice.

This means people should only exercise once a day, be in groups of no more than two – unless they live together – and stay at least two metres from others.

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.

Over the weekend, many people were seen congregating in parks or freely moving around in large groups despite the Government’s warnings.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, who is running to be the Greater London Authority representative for Harrow and Brent, was among those to criticise them.

He is responsible for public health, culture and leisure at neighbouring Brent Council and urged everyone to “stay at home” to protect as many people as possible.

On Sunday (March 22), he 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.”