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Despite closures, violators continue use recreational facilities at Lafayette Park

Posted at 7:47 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 19:47:55-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City leaders in Tallahassee are encouraging social distancing by closing recreational facilities and limiting access, but their efforts may not be enough to stop the determined few.

Keeping up with social distancing has turned into a challenge for city leaders, from monitoring parties to trying to block the latest serve at Lafayette Park.

With an executive order in place, signs, along with netting and tape to keep people away, have been placed around city alerting that outdoor recreation areas at parks are prohibited. However, the rackets are still in full swing.

Tennis players tore down the tape so they could keep playing.

"I think it's shortsighted, irresponsible," said Jackson Buttery, who lives near the park.

The closures are in place to discourage people from touching shared surfaces, helping to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Off-camera, visitors told ABC 27 they're keeping a safe distance from each other and exercising their right to engage in recreational activity.

"The problem is is that this thing keeps spreading and social distancing has been shown to really help ," said Jay Wirth, who visits the area regularly. "And I do think that people need to be aware of it and actually do what they're supposed to be doing, which is social distancing."

Since receiving reports of activity on the courts, the city sent a crew member to remove the tennis nets as an additional deterrent.

Trespassing is considered a first degree misdemeanor and can land you up to a year in jail.

Not clear on what is or what isn't closed around the city? See the list from City of Tallahassee officials below.