Councils have been told they should not close parks in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said it ‘cannot be right’ that some parks across the country have been closed.

‘While the virus does not discriminate, we know that the lockdown is much harder for people who don’t have a lot of living space, who don’t have a garden, and who don’t have anywhere for their children to run around,’ he said.

‘People need parks. That’s why I have made it clear to councils that all parks must remain open.

‘For the health of the nation, people should be able to safely enjoy fresh air and green space.’

However, mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston has defied government guidance and releases a statement saying parks in the area would remain closed.