Ruislip Lido forced to close because of 'lack of social distancing'

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Visitors to Ruislip lido, which police were called to on 25 May. (Hillingdon Police)

Part of a lido in west London has shut after police after visitors failed to keep their distance under the coronavirus restrictions.

Hillingdon Council has shut Ruislip Lido’s beach after photos of crowds of people attending the “shore” were seen in the media.

A council spokesperson said: “We have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the beach at Ruislip Lido in response to visitors not adhering to social distancing guidelines at the site.

"Whilst we wanted to keep the beach open for recreation in line with government guidance and are aware that many residents are sticking to guidelines, we have decided to close and fence off the beach in the interest of public safety.”

The lido includes a 60-acre lake with sandy beaches and a railway, set on the edge of Ruislip Woods.

During the late May bank holiday weekend, the Metropolitan Police Service in Hillingdon urged people “to use common sense when it comes to social distancing” and tweeted a picture of the lido.

Despite the warning, Hillingdon Council said it did not have the resources to ensure social distancing was being followed.

Groups of up to six people can meet outdoors in England now, but only by keeping two metres apart if they are not from the same household.

“Whilst it remains the position of Hillingdon Council to keep its award winning parks and open spaces open to the public for the benefit of the health and wellbeing of our residents of all ages, we can only do so if government guidelines relating to social distancing are followed,” the council spokesperson said.

“Given the number and size of our parks and open spaces the police simply do not have the resources to deal with those putting others at risk by not abiding by the guidance.”

They added: “This decision will be kept under review.”

A sign urging people not to go into the water has been placed at the lido.

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