Parents in Dorset have been spotted helping their children access play equipment, despite the current government guidelines for people to stay at home.

Residents of Shaftesbury have seen parents lifting their children over fences in order to play in a child’s play area.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people only to leave their homes for "very limited purposes" including one form of exercise a day, and banning public gatherings of more than two people.

Simon Hoare, MP for North Dorset, took to Twitter to show his disapproval, calling the parents “extraordinarily irresponsible” and questioned “why endanger the health of those you’re supposed to love?”

Parks have remained open, subject to the approval of local authorities, but gyms and playparks have been closed.

Police have also been given the power to arrest people or fine them up to £960 for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules in England.

Matt Reeks, Dorset Council’s Service Manager for Coast & Greenspace, said: “We closed the play parks and playgrounds to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One of the reasons was to prevent groups of people gathering and the second was the transference of the virus from the surfaces.

“We know it is a very difficult time, but we strongly urge people to stick to the measures that we have put in place to safeguard their family’s health.”