Speaking at the Downing Street daily press conference on the coronavirus epidemic, Jenrick said it “cannot be right” that some councils across the country have closed their parks in recent weeks.
He said that although the virus “does not discriminate”, locking in is much more difficult for people who do not have gardens or open spaces where children can run.
“People need parks. That’s why I made it clear to the boards that all parks should be kept open, “he said.
The announcement comes weeks after Secretary of Health Matt Hancock threatened to ban outdoor exercise this weekend as Brockwell Park in south London was controversially closed in response to a reported influx of bathers. Guardian analysis found that closing the parks would disproportionately affect the poorest Londoners.
Jenrick also addressed reports that the mourners had been refused a funeral, citing the case of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, of Brixton, who died after contracting Covid-19.
He added that the tragedy had worsened after Ismail’s family were unable to attend his funeral. “It is not fair and it should not have happened,” he said. “For clarity, the funeral can take place in the presence of close relatives. “
Government to release new funeral guidelines, Jenrick said, adding: “I also ask councils to stay open, if not reopen cemeteries and cemeteries … so people can take this private tour and seek solace at the grave. from someone you loved or lay flowers in private.
“There have been times in my life when I needed to do it. These are just small steps, but small mercies can make a difference. “
Jenrick defended her decision to visit her parents’ home earlier this month, despite repeated calls from the public to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Guardian established that the housing secretary visited his parents in Shropshire, 40 miles from his own house by road, who were already supported by the local community for grocery deliveries.
Jenrick said in the briefing that he had delivered medication to his elderly parents and that it was “entirely within the guidelines” to do so.
He said he “wouldn’t want people to be concerned that they can’t do something like this to help their own elderly parents or parents who need it.”