Vandals broke into Southwark Park tennis courts over the weekend depsite the gates being locked to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Southwark Council, which posted an image of a broken gate online and said ‘you don’t need to play tennis this badly’, said the courts were locked for the protection of residents.  

Southwark has the highest recorded level of confirmed Covid-19 cases in London and the fourth highest in the country. 

According to the council: “The Southwark Park tennis courts were broken into at the weekend.  

“They were locked for the protection of all our residents.  

“Please stay home, protect the NHS and save lives – you don’t need to play tennis this badly.” 

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the council has closed playgrounds and all sport and leisure facilities.  

Although many of the borough’s parks and open spaces remain open, residents have been warned to follow guidance about social distancing, including avoiding group gatherings, and staying more than two metres apart from others. 

The latest figures show there are 365 confirmed cases in Southwark, the fourth highest in the country after Sheffield at 387, Hampshire at 432 and Birmingham at 513.  

Government advice is that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of the virus.  

People should only leave their home for shopping for basic necessities, such as food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.  

Residents can go outside to get some exercise, alone or with members of their household.  

If someone has a medical need, or is leaving to provide care to others, or is a key worker, they can also go outside.