Grab Your Picnic Basket: Social-Distancing Circles Are Landing In Parks Across Australia

Cool Sh*t, Melbourne, Play, Sydney / 9 October 2020

Enjoy a picnic (2020 style) at these new social-distancing circles at parks across Australia.

As we adapt to life with COVID-19, the way we eat, drink and play looks a bit different from normal. QR codes are now an expected element of dining out and crowded bar queues feel like a distant memory. But there’s still plenty of ways to get outdoors and socialise while staying COVID-safe this summer.

Inner-city parks across Australia are beginning to trial a new concept: social-distancing circles. That’s right, many parks in Oz are taking inspiration from social distancing rings seen across green spaces in NYC (as shown in our feature image) and the UK.

So, what are they exactly? Expect eco-friendly white paint circles to be marked out approved picnic spots in parks across Melbourne (and soon, Sydney), spaced 1.5 metres apart. Think of these like designated safe spots that clearly define where groups can and can’t sit in parks.

The first trial of this program has been seen at Prahran Square’s lawns, with another 50 also popping up in surrounding locations. It’s hoped the move will allow Melburnians (once restrictions ease) to gather with friends and family members in a socially responsible way in public spaces such as parks.

And Sydneysiders, these social-distancing circles are set to come to a park new you very soon. The NSW Government’s new COVID Safe Summer Plan outlines the first inner-city parks that will feature the new-look circles.

From September, First Fleet Park in The Rocks, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, Murray Gardens and the Crescent amphitheatre in Parramatta Park will be marked to aid physical distancing, with more locations in the Centennial Parklands, Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Olympic Park to come before summer.

Feature image: Stonnington Council Facebook Page