The Royal Parks have announced it will be keeping its public spaces open and are encouraging visitors to spend time in nature, relax or exercise.

However, residents are advised to follow government advice regarding social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Tom Jarvis, Director of Parks, said: “Now more than ever, these vital assets offer a tranquil haven for visitors to come to boost their physical and mental wellbeing.

“In these difficult times, we’re welcoming people to London’s eight historic Royal Parks to relax, exercise and engage in nature.

"Staying fit and well is particularly important, and we ask visitors to follow the Government’s advice and carry out social distancing to prevent the disease spreading, by protecting themselves and others.

“Our charity is closely following and monitoring Government and Public Health England’s guidance and we’re responding with daily updates as the situation unfolds.”

The Royal Parks charity says it is also working closely monitoring Government advice on COVID-19 and is following the advice of Public Health England.

In order to prevent the spread of the virus through social contact in a busy space, the charity is taking all appropriate measures to keep visitors safe and healthy during this time.

This means that following measures have been put in place at Bushy Park and Richmond Park:

• All playgrounds will be closed to public access from Wednesday 18th March until further notice, in order to help people with social distancing.

• All sports bookings (including school bookings) at The Hub in The Regent’s Park will be cancelled with immediate effect until April 19, when the situation will be reviewed.

No additional bookings will be taken until further notice.

• Cafés and some catering kiosks remain open but people are being asked to follow Government advice with regard to social distancing when collecting food and drinks.

• All of The Royal Parks’ learning and education programmes, community programmes and volunteer activities have been cancelled with immediate effect until the end of April, when we will review the situation.

• All small events being held in a Royal Park between March 18, and April 30, will be cancelled.

• Park toilets will remain free of charge until further notice, in order to provide visitors with hand washing facilities.

• All park offices are now closed to the public until further notice.