Coronavirus: ‘Stay at home’ plea as Easter holiday starts

, Coronavirus: ‘Stay at home’ plea as Easter holiday startsImage copyright
John Byford

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People do appear to be heeding warnings not to drive to visit coastal towns, like Skegness

People are being warned to stay away from England’s beauty spots amid the coronavirus lockdown, despite expected warm weather as Easter looms.

Pleas have been issued from the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District down to the south coast.

Despite a “dramatic reduction” in tourist visits already, the restrictions remain in place.

In Southend-on-Sea, for example, tourism bosses have rebranded PR material “Don’t Visit Southend”.

In the Peak District, the message is that even if the sun comes out people should not travel.

Social-distancing measures

Ch Insp Mark Thorley, who is in charge of policing the Staffordshire end of the Peaks, said on Twitter: “The car parks are closed and the pulling in points will quickly become places where social distancing will be difficult.

“Stay at home keep us all safe.”

The advice comes amid social-distancing measures put in place by the government, to try to slow the rate of coronavirus infection.

Guidelines state people should stay at home except to buy food or medicines or to go to work.

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Beavan 4 Suffolk

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In Southwold, banners have been put up to urge those with second homes to stay away

The advice is to take limited exercise near your home, and if you go out, to stay 2m (6ft) away from other people at all times.

Police have now been given powers to fine people who gather in groups or refuse to return home – although some forces have been criticised for going too far.

Andy Wilson, chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We have seen a huge drop in footfall at many popular beauty spots and we want this to continue.

“We must all take responsibility for helping to slow the spread of Covid-19 and we can do this by simply staying at home and avoiding all non-essential travel.”

In Southwold, banners have been put up by town councillors Simon Flunder and David Beavan to ask people to stay away.

The 3.6m (12ft) yellow signs read “Please respect us, don’t infect us” and urge those with second homes to stay away.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, which covers coastal areas such as Skegness, said the number of cars on the road has increased compared to earlier in the lockdown phase.

“The message remains the same, do go about your essential business like food, medicine and exercise. But do not do other business.

“It is not as important as helping other people avoid the virus.”

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Yorkshire Dales National Park

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Visitor numbers to the Yorkshire Dales National Park have slowed this week, tourism bosses said

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Derbyshire Police

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Last week, Derbyshire Police found a group near Snake Pass enjoying a picnic

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