Urgent police warning for people to stop driving to Haldon Hill

Police have issued a warning for people to stay away from Haldon Hill and other beauty spots during the coronavirus crisis.

It follows reports of people ignoring lockdown and gathering in large groups across Devon and Cornwall on Saturday.

Paul Greaves  www.devonlive.com

Police say they are ‘reminding members of the public’ that they should not be driving to locations to exercise.

The risk of spreading Covid-19 was worsened because some people were ignoring advice that exercise should only be taken from residents’ front doors, police said.

Popular locations where people gathered included Haldon Hill, near Exeter.

The rules from the Government, which came into force on Monday (March 23), state you may only leave your home for four reasons:

  • 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, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

Chief Superintendent Sam De Reya said: “We have been quite clear in our advice that using your car to get to a preferred exercise location does not constitute an essential journey.

“Our role here is to reduce the spread of coronavirus, save lives and protect the NHS.

“Those in locations that are most likely to have been accessed by car are putting themselves and others at risk and can expect to be challenged robustly.

Devon and Cornwall is understandably proud of its renowned stunning coastlines, wide open spaces and gallons of fresh air and thrive from the millions of visitors who come to enjoy our part of the world each year.

However, the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK has changed our day to day lives while the government is calling for the nation to stop all non essential travel in a bid to stop the spread of the disease that has so tragically claimed lives in the UK.

In the South West not only do we have a proportion of elderly people living here, those who are some of the most vulnerable to coronavirus, but we also have NHS trusts that are stretched to capacity without any extra pressure.

We want to help saves lives and help bring an end to the outbreak as soon as we possibly can.

Therefore we are aiming to spread the message of come back later as far and as wide as possible through a campaign launching today – #comebacklater.

“For the most part the public have been incredibly supportive of the restrictions placed on them so far.

“We would like to thank all of those who are abiding by these very straightforward rules and remind them that they will need to be mindful of the rules for some time to come.”