King’s College wall fenced off following rising Coronavirus concerns in Cambridge

The fencing was installed on Saturday (2nd January) and will be in place for the next two weeks

King’s College’s famous facade has been fenced off from Saturday afternoon (2nd January) after rising concerns about Covid cases in Cambridge. 

Thirty metal barriers, showing coronavirus safety messages with the Cambridge City Council logo on them, have been installed to run along the length of King’s Parade.

A Cambridgeshire Live reporter tweeted that the fencing around this popular spot was potentially brought in due to fears about a lack of social distancing on the busy street. 

A source told CambridgeshireLive that the fence would be in place for the next two weeks, being put up at 10 am and then taken down in the evening. It will reportedly be stored on King’s College premises overnight.  

When approached for comment, King’s College remarked that the barriers were installed by Cambridge City Council and no permission was required from the college to install them.

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson spoke out about the decision when approached for comment: “The barriers in question were put in as a temporary short-term fix on Saturday afternoon at about 1:30pm, in response to an identified Covid safety risk arising from overcrowding and lack of social distancing on King’s Parade.

“The barriers were placed against the King’s College wall so that the spaces were created to ensure 2m distancing could be achieved by those using the wall of King’s College to sit and rest.

“The use of the barriers will be continually reviewed, so on very busy days they may be put in place for some periods, but on other days may not be needed at all. There are no plans for additional barrier deployment in the city centre at this point.”

Covid cases in Cambridgeshire have been on a continued rise. A report from Cambridge Independent at the end of December said that “Cambridge also broke an unwanted record, despite the absence of university students from the city.” In the last week of 2020, there were 33 new lab-confirmed cases in Central and West Cambridge.

This decision comes after Cambridge City Council’s decision to close Cambridge Market from January 1st over fears people could not socially distance there.

When contacted by CambridgeshireLive, Liberal Democrat councillors Anthony Martinelli and Tim Bick, as well as two councillors responsible for Market Ward, which includes King’s Parade,  said they were not aware of the fencing plans. 

Feature Image credits: Sophie Carlin and Benjamin Turner via Twitter

King’s College and Cambridge City Council have been contacted for comment.