All playgrounds, sports courts, outdoor gyms and skateparks in the Royal Borough of Greenwich have been closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the authority announced on Tuesday.

It comes after large sections of the community failed to heed warnings to socially distance over the weekend, with huge numbers flocking to the borough’s parks to soak in the sun.

Councillors on both sides of the political spectrum had earlier pleaded for residents to stay at home and practice responsible distancing.

“What we’ve seen today isn’t what is required to fight this challenge – there are too many people in parks and open spaces, in groups that are too big. For those of you lucky enough to have a garden or a balcony, please stay in it or on it for the duration,” council leader Dan Thorpe tweeted on Sunday after widespread reports of parks rammed with revellers.

He was backed by Opposition leader Matt Hartley, who had earlier revealed his own father was categorised as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus due to a kidney replacement.

“None of us like this but it is to save lives,” Cllr Hartley tweeted after the weekend in support of Cllr Thorpe.

Greenwich’s Royal Parks subsequently closed its eight sites, before the council announced the increased measures Tuesday.

“To help stop the spread of coronavirus we are going to close all playgrounds, sports courts, outdoor gyms and skateparks in our parks,” the authority tweeted on Tuesday.

“We know these are important spaces for people, but doing this really will save lives.”

The remainder of the borough’s parks remain open, but the authority has urged users to stay two-metres apart from one another.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that Britons could only leave their homes to shop for basic necessities and for medical needs.

He added that residents would be allowed to leave their homes for one form of exercise a day, and should only travel to and from work if absolutely necessary.