Parks in Middlesbrough are to remain closed despite government advice they should reopen.
The town’s mayor Andy Preston said it had “one of the highest rates of Covid 19 infection outside of London” and it would be “dangerous” for people to mingle.
He cited a think-tank report which claims Middlesbrough is the “riskiest” place in the country for coronavirus.
The government has said “people need parks” for exercise and mental health.
In a post on social media, Mr Preston said: “Because of Middlesbrough’s high rates of infection and our other health challenges, we are deemed to be the most coronavirus vulnerable place in the UK.
“With this in mind I have decided that, for now, our parks remain closed.
“Parks themselves are not dangerous – but people gathering and mixing inappropriately in parks could be deadly.”