Tamworth's playgrounds are silent, with the Council today locking up the city's play spaces to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But local residents in boot camps and other outdoor fitness groups can still use council-managed grassed areas to stay fit, according to council officer Paul Kelly.
Mr Kelly said the "drastic" ban on use of playgrounds in 150 parks was all about keeping people away from "mass gathering points".
Despite pleas by Mayor Col Murray for residents to stay at home, council's park exercise equipment has got more use than ever, he said, with a closure of indoor gyms driving fitness fanatics outside.
"Particularly around large amounts of play equipment you've got that cross infection with children or people touching various amounts of equipment in a short period of time.
"Council's action is about purely trying to slow the spread of this virus and to protect the community."
Tamworth got barely any notice of the ban, waking to find signs and bunting already erected around parks including Bicentennial Park.
Mr Kelly, TRC Manager of Sports and Recreation, said council made the decision to close until further notice yesterday evening and to do so immediately, with an eye to expected heavy use on the weekend.
"When you've got fabulous play equipment like we've got behind us it's terribly unfortunate to shut it but it's a good sensible decision by council to make sure that we don't encourage the community to congregate," he said.
Staff began setting up signage yesterday. It's expected all parks will have bunting and signs today.
Council will monitor the ban using CCTV cameras.
The ban includes the Tamworth Regional Playground, the outdoor gym and splash pad at Bicentennial Park, closure of Tamworth Marsupial Park and closure of Tamworth Regional Skate Park. Public barbecues are also all closed.
The Tamworth Regional Botanic Gardens will remain open.
Grassed areas inside parks are still available for residents to keep fit. Asked if those areas could be closed in future, Mr Kelly said they will follow the advice of Commonwealth and State health officials.