‘Devon is closed’: Council calls for tougher penalties for lockdown flouters

At last we hear from Leader of DCC, John Hart – Owl (and Owl makes no apology for pointing out that the speed of Covid-19 transmission exposes those who make the wrong call and even those who make a late call in a matter of days, it doesn’t wait until you have moved on. These are not normal times, Covid-19 is unforgiving).

Leader John Hart said he was planning to meet the bosses and chief executives of all Devon’s district councils to discuss co-ordinated enforcement action against holiday providers who continue to take bookings.

The authority this afternoon (Wednesday) issued an all-party message for visitors to ‘stay away from the South West’ ahead of the Easter weekend.

East Devon Reporter  eastdevonnews.co.uk

County council bosses want tougher penalties for people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules – after telling holidaymakers and second home owners: “Devon is closed.” 

The authority this afternoon (Wednesday) issued an all-party message for visitors to ‘stay away from the South West’ ahead of the Easter weekend.

Leader John Hart said he was planning to meet the bosses and chief executives of all Devon’s district councils to discuss co-ordinated enforcement action against holiday providers who continue to take bookings.

“As we head to Easter, we want to send a very clear message to holidaymakers and second home owners,” said Mr Hart.

“Devon and the South West are closed. We will welcome you with open arms when this is all over, but right now please stay away.

“We currently have low coronavirus infection rates in the South West, but, if you come here, you stand a chance of bringing it with you and we do not want it under any circumstances.

“We want the message to go out loud and clear and we want our MPs to stop those organisations which are still advertising holidays here.”

Labour leader Rob Hannaford added: “It’s highly damaging and irresponsible for people to be coming to the South West to holiday accommodation or second homes and we want more police spot checks on our borders.

“We have a lot of elderly people here who are most susceptible. We are at the bottom of the regional tables for coronavirus infection and we want it to stay that way.”

Liberal Democrat leader Alan Connett said: “We want people to come here when this is all over but for now the message is clear: stay home and stay safe.”

Independent group leader Frank Biederman added: “We need the Government to introduce huge fines for people who flout the regulations and we really need to emphasise that we are closed. The NHS can’t care for visitors as well as our own residents.

“The vast majority of our tourism businesses are closed and are taking a big financial hit for the benefit of the community but we need to crack down on those who refuse to do so.”

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