CAR parks at popular tourism destinations in Northumberland have been closed after some people ignored government advice to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The county council called the move a "difficult decision" that had been made after "a small minority" continued to visit some areas in large numbers.

Bolam Lake Country Park, near Belsay, is among the car parks to be closed, along with several along the Northumberland coast and at Plessey Woods and Druridge Bay.

Urban country parks, parks and green spaces will remain open to enable local residents to exercise, but playgrounds will be closed, as will all public toilets.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “It is important for us to take these steps in line with government guidance on non-essential travel as a means of persuading people to stay at home.

“The Government guidance is very clear - people should stay at home and avoid social contact to protect the NHS and save lives - and it’s disappointing a small minority aren’t taking this seriously enough.

“Over recent days a number of our country parks and tourist car parks were still very busy so we’ve had to take action.

"It is imperative every single one of us heeds the Government’s messages on not going out unless strictly necessary. Following this guidance will help save many lives.”