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Posted On: 07-04-2020
Posted In: Breaking news

Stay at home this weekend graphicMid Devon District Council (MDCC) is backing the call from across the South West for visitors not to be tempted to visit the region this Easter.

In the run up to the bank holiday weekend, local authorities are reminding people of the Government advice against non-essential travel, as well as ensuring holiday accommodation providers stay closed.

MDDC recognises the importance of the tourism sector for Devon, but it is urging people to stay at home, stay safe and wait until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted before paying a visit to the county.

Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and caravan parks are among the businesses forced to close under Government guidelines to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Among the exceptions are where:

  • People who live permanently in caravan parks or are living in holiday accommodation temporarily because their main residence is unavailable;
  • Critical workers and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period can stay in hotels or similar;
  • People who are unable to move into a new home, due to the current restrictions, can stay in hotels;
  • Where hotels, hostels and B&Bs are supporting homeless and other vulnerable people, such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies.

Cllr Graeme Barnell, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said:

“We recognise the huge importance tourism has to play in the county’s economy and know that many businesses in Mid Devon will be facing huge hardships in the wake of the decision to restrict travel.
“But we all need to do what we can to help prevent the spread of this virus further and in the run up to the Easter weekend, we are urging everyone to obey the rules and stay home. Our beautiful part of Devon will be open again soon and we cannot wait to welcome visitors back when the time is right.”

Police and Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards have powers to investigate any holiday accommodation that might be flouting the current Government guidelines.

More information for businesses can be found on GOV.UK.

Local people using Devon’s Public Rights of Way and recreational trails as part of their daily exercise are also being urged to follow Government guidance while outside.

Notices on some of Devon’s public rights of way are reminding people to keep a 2-metre distance with a maximum of two in a group from the same household. Dog walkers are also asked to keep dogs under close control and to keep to the line of the path.

Further information is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.