PLEASE STAY AWAY from East Devon for the bank holiday – message from East Devon Leader Cllr Ben Ingham

Council leader thanks visitors, but ask them to keep up the good work, stay at home in order to help prevent causing a local spike in Coronavirus cases - we will welcome you when this is all over, he says, but right now please don’t come to the South West

The Leader of East Devon District Council, Cllr Ben Ingham, has an important message for people in the lead up to the spring bank holiday this Friday 8 May.

He is concerned that visitors and day trippers may be tempted to visit East Devon on the bank holiday and create a spike in Coronavirus cases in the South West, which has so far been spared the high number of cases seen elsewhere.

He is also reaching out to East Devon residents to ask them to continue to respect Government guidance, which is:

  • To only leave or be away from your home for very limited purposes, such as shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • For travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

The government has stressed that even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent away from the home and ensuring that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Cllr Ingham’s message:

I would personally like to thank all the people who have so far been respecting the lock down guidance. It is clearly paying off as we have not seen the large number of cases here, which other parts of the country have experienced.

I’d like to thank all the second home owners and tourists who, by staying away during the previous bank holiday, have helped protect our communities, our vulnerable residents and kept the pressure off our local services.

But I must ask you again to please keep up the good work and to continue to stay at home in your primary residence, in your home county. Doing this will prevent the spread of coronavirus, it will protect your health and the health of loved ones and it will save lives.

We will see you again when it is safe for us and you, but in the meantime please don’t come to East Devon. Thank you.

For our local residents, my message is clear. Don’t be tempted to break the rules, please keep local and take your daily exercise close to your home.

We are fortunate to have many parks and open spaces, which are now open again, bar a number of small parks which we feel will be difficult for the public to maintain robust social distancing within. However, parks should be used for essential exercise and not for sunbathing, picnics, barbeques or sports – doing this puts everyone’s health at risk.

If you are exercising, please stay local and avoid areas when busy. Always maintain a 2metre distance from others. If you don’t observe social distancing or congregate in our parks, we may be forced to close them again. So please don’t be tempted to break the rules.