People warned not to travel to Devon too early this Easter

Crowds at Croyde beach in summer 2020. Credit: PA

Tourists are being warned ‘not to put the summer at risk’ by travelling down to Devon this Easter before lockdown restrictions ease.

April 12 is the earliest date outdoor attractions and self-contained accommodation are allowed to open.

Visitors are being warned it is illegal and could be dangerous to travel before Government restrictions are lifted.

Cllr Keri Denton from Devon County Council said: “We will give people a warm welcome when the guidelines allow but not before.

“We are not ready for visitors yet and we do not want to put the summer at risk for the sake of a few more weeks.

“After all our hard work to keep Covid-19 cases in Devon so low we do not want to risk things now.

“We ask everyone thinking of coming to Devon after April 12, to behave responsibly and make sure you book the sort of accommodation and experiences you can enjoy safely in advance.

“We also ask potential visitors, as well as our own residents thinking of travelling within Devon, to take extra care and to show our local communities respect and courtesy. This includes the simple things like parking responsibly, respecting the countryside and taking litter away.”

But Dr Phil Norrey, Devon County Council’s chief executive, offered some words of reassurance: “Last year we saw little evidence of transmission of the disease in outdoor settings so even if there is the usual or enhanced number of visitors, it won’t pose an increased risk based on what happened last year.”

Steve Brown, director of Public Health Devon, added that we are all going to have to learn to live safely with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future:

“Please continue to maintain your social distance, wear your face coverings when you’re indoors in a public place, and remember to wash your hands frequently and properly.

“If you are somebody who has to leave home to work or volunteer, or you’re a carer for somebody, or you happen to be in a family, household or maybe a bubble with somebody who attends a nursery or education, please access regular testing twice a week.”

Credit: Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporter

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