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COUNCIL staff are to work with Police Scotland to seal off a park from cars after punters mobbed the area despite social distancing rules.

Shocking pictures yesterday showed a busy Strathclyde Country Park as people continue to defy government advice on the coronavirus crisis. 

Scores of punters were seen in the Motherwell park, despite strict new measures banning Scots from going outside unless they have a 'reasonable excuse'. 

Images showed lines of cars queuing to get into car parks in the public space. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Punters defy social distancing rules as they pack out Strathclyde Country Park

North Lanarkshire Council, which manages the park, took the decision last week to ban vehicles from entering the park but continue to allow pedestrians and cyclists. 

And now say they will be working with the police to prevent a large number of drivers flouting the rules.

A post on the local authority’s Twitter page said: “We had already closed car parks, but we’ll be ensuring vehicles can’t access the park like this again, working with @policescotland.

“Please be responsible. Driving to the park to exercise is against govt guidance and not responsible. #StayHome.”

North Lanarkshire councillors also condemned the activity.

READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: 1300+ cases in Scotland and lockdown 'could last six months'

Paul Kelly, depute leader of the council, said: “Thank you to everyone who contacted me regarding use of Strathclyde Park over the weekend by cars.

“This is a worrying situation as we all know the clear advice from the Government to stay home and exercise safely and sensibly. I have urgently raised this situation with the council.”

Fellow councillor Greg Lennon said he urged “all residents to stay in”, adding if this was not practical then “please at the very least ensure social distancing is practised for the sake of your/everyone’s safety”.

Government guidance on social distancing asks people to only leave their home for an essential purpose such as shopping for necessary food, household and medical supplies, travelling to and from work when doing so from home is not an option and daily exercise no closer than two metres from others.

Cops now have powers to enforce the coronavirus rules on staying at home and closing non-essential businesses.

Police can direct people to return home and those in breach could be subject to a prohibition notice and if they do not comply they could be fined or prosecuted.

Fines of £30, rising to £60 if not paid within 28 days, can be issued. These penalties are doubled for each repeat offence up to a £960 cap.

When approached yesterday, Police Scotland declined to comment on an individual case.